Friday, November 23, 2007

2008 Season Dedicated to Saul Raisin - All Prize Money Donated to Camp Twin Lakes

Yesterday I spoke Saul and he told me the news that he wasn't going to be able to return to racing. He received the news from Roger Legeay the Director Sportif of his Crédit Agricole team. Knowing Saul for a little less than a year I have always been amazed at how positive he is despite the difficult circumstances both him and his family have faced since his accident in April 2006. Although to realize that he won't be able to continue to fulfill his dream of being a professional cyclist is difficult, Saul realizes that there are many new opportunities in front of him and he is optimistic about his future. He is especially looking forward to his upcoming wedding to Aleeza. As difficult as it is to hear the disappointment in his voice, we are all happy for the incredible comeback he has made and how fortunate he is for being able to lead a normal life again after such a terrible accident. As Saul exits the professional peloton and I enter it for the second time it’s to him that I dedicate this upcoming season. All of the prize money that I make in 2008 will be donated to Camp Twin Lakes, one of Saul's favorite charities on his behalf. Above and below are pictures of Saul in New York City this past winter.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A New Season Starts

Salt Lake City might as well be my second home. I went there so much this year to test and see Max and Nanna that my wife is suggesting that I rent an apartment out there. I've been hitching for the transition period to come to an end so that I could start the work of the new season. Officially that starts on November 1st. Max had told me not to come in late October since he could still give me the plans until late December before my first tests. But like an addict I couldn't stay away from the torture machine. I had a friend of mine Ricardo Martins (Ceramica Flaminia) who is the current Portuguese national time trial champion fly in so that I could have an excuse to "take him" to Sal Lake City. We had two days of tests including a lactate and Vo2Max test the first day and a Vo2Max test with a new machine TOSH has acquired on the second day. The lactate test went pretty well. Max stopped the test at 340 Watts so that we still had something for the Vo2Max test. My results were better than my best tests of the year so I was happy about that. The Vo2Max test showed an improvement of 120 Watts over my tests a year ago and a Vo2Max of 70 which isn't too bad but not great either. The second day we did another Vo2Max Test and I could only go to 420 Watts while Ricardo went to 580. You could smell the rubber of the tire when he was doing it and although Max stopped the test, Ricardo says he could have gone to 610. Wow. We also spent a lot of time with Nanna and Ricardo did an RMR test and all of the necessary nutrition meetings. Although with a body fat of 4.7% he doesn't exactly have to worry about being overweight. And yes I finally made it under 8% for the first time in probably 11 years. Yes nothing like a low body fat to make a girl feel good about herself. My poor wife just rolls her eyes when I step on the scale and ask her if my ass looks fat.