Homeboy: Into The Swing Of Things
Things in the last two weeks are going into the efficient rhythm that I had during my last month, also my most successful, last year. It’s the norm where you get into the rest, race and train hard once or twice a week method. I like it because this is the rhythm where I feel the most development and improvement in my form, and it has been showing.
The past week has seen some great results from the ABC-Aitos cycling team. The team is beginning to come together and start to collaborate more in the races, which translates to better and easier races for us all. Thursday was a nice little warm-up kermese, which was a crowd attraction, before the second stage of the Tour of Belgium hit the costal resort town Knokke-Heist.
The race, following the same local laps as the pros, was a great chance for the team to pull off a good result as it only lasted 80 kilometers. From the gun I was on the attack and off the front, soon two teammates and another rider joined me. We stayed off for a while, but were pulled in quickly enough. This set the precedent for the day, with our team making sure we were represented in each and every move of the day.
Once push came to shove, we had three riders in the front break, with myself and two other riders in the second group. In the end one rider escaped off the front break leaving Corey Steinbrecher to take the field sprint for second place. Like I said, the teamwork left us fresher than almost every other rider.
Sunday we had another race in France, a small but hard UCI 1.12, that was only 125 kilometers. Seeing 125 kilometers for a UCI isn’t normal, but once we saw that the race had a nice 1 kilometer climb for 25 laps of 5 kilometers, we understood the reason for the ‘shorter’ distance.
Using the same team from Thursday we were out for some more results. The plan was simple … three guys covered the start of the race, three more were there for helping, and three more for the end of the race. I was designated to stay fresh for the end of the race.
What went down in specifics I’m not completely sure as I buried myself in the field and conserved as much energy as I could, but once the split happened we had one rider, Corey Stienbrecher, in the break of 12. From this point we covered breaks and sent riders with what we could.
In the end I was just pack filler, but had some good work in bridging to breaks and attacking in the final three laps. Corey, who is on great form at the moment, had at the end made a split of 4 guys in front of the lead group. Going into the final 500 meters he had some very bad luck, breaking a spoke and having it rub against his break. He went hard but ended up 4th. I would wager he would have been able to take the other three guys, who couldn’t sprint that well, but then again, this is bike racing and ‘coulda’ and ‘woulda’ don’t mean anything.
For me the week was good, some great racing, hard miles on the bike and I’m not at all thrashed. In fact, after Sunday’s race, I was fine and felt great. I can’t remember the last time I actually finished a race in Europe and I wasn’t tired. So the form is there, the team is forming the needed communication and everything is just peachy in Belgium … can’t ask for more.
Till next week.