In the last few weeks I have been asking myself a lot "What the hell was I thinking". Seriously and people most of this is of course done with a lot of sense of humour even if I am the only one who gets it but really what was I thinking? Tour de Nez was Wunderbar. I mean I was as useless as I could have been. I blammed it on the altitude and shrugg it off and kept on pedaling. Nationals in Portugal didn't go much better. I was there to do the TT and the Road Race but after a wrong turn (yes that's right a wrong turn) I was so damm embarrassed that I just packed up the car and went home not starting the road race the next day. Good thing too since the guy that won was part of a team that a month ago got raided and was found with more than a few doping products. The two who didn't get suspended only managed to escape because they gave the wrong addresses to the anti-doping authorities. Go figure. But back to the wrong turn. The course at Nationals was a little odd for a TT course. Four laps of 7 Km each with 3 round abouts per lap and a 180 degree turn at the bottom of a 2 laned 70 Kph downhill. Oh yeah. I did a few laps of the course with Sergio Paulinho from Astana the day before and although It wasn't exactly a course that favored me (no TT course really is) I still was determined to give it the old college try. I started the TT well enough trying not to go too hard in the first 5Km and although I was fairly convinced that I was sucking wind (never a good sign)coming to the end of the first lap I come out of the turnarounds and bamm my one minute man was right there. Sweet I am thinking. Come to Papa bad boy. Now I am zeroing in on him and am about to catch him when I notice that there is a flag guy going wild while I am going by and my follow car is beeping a lot (should have worn that radio after all). Apparently there was a right turn that I missed. Faaauuucckk. I slam on the brakes (always pleasant with carbon wheels) make a U turn and then just basically said Fuck it and made a right instead of a left. That's it done. Rode to the Hotel and after dodging a phone call or two from reporters (and why they cared is beyond me) I took off back home so that I could at least get one day of beach in before coming back to the US.
I figured that at leats I had Fitchburg at the end of the week and I got home 3 days before the race. I had to dig out at work for most of the week and only managed one ride the day before Fitchburg but at least I tought my legs were pretty good. I wanted to have a good TT so I warmed up pretty good and started off pretty well and after doing 400 Watts for the first 6 minutes I just wasn't able to hold it and ended up finishing 1:30 off of the winner. Not a good start. At least I caught two guys and although I go caught by a Health Net guy I did manage to re-pass him in the last mile so technically he didn't catch me right? The second stage was the Waschusset mountain stage and I basically suffered most of the day on the climbs and came in 8 minutes down with Davide Fratine and Andy Guptil from Colavita and my teammate Garrett Peltonen. Although I must say I was the only wuss in that group. Both Davide and Andy had been controling the front all day and rode like champs and poor old Garrett was riding with a bunch of fractured bones suffered during this horrific crash - Garrett is a true hard man and never complains. Me, I'm made of twinkies and can't stop bitching. Hey it takes all kinds. The third stage was the circuit race and we had Teddy in 3rd place with a strategy to get him the 2 seconds he needed to take over 2nd or even the lead from Kyle Wamsley who was riding damm well. In the very first lap there were a few attacks and I threw down a pothetic little attack. I am pretty sure that I went 3 miles an hour faster than the group but did manage a little gap and did manage to bring two guys with me and did manage to catch the dude that was off the front from Health Net so that's that. From there I went straight to the back and continued to suffer like a dog the last 50 meters of that climb. I think now we are literally 4 laps into a 24 lap race. I'm suffering like a dog, poor Garrett is just in front of me and were coming to the climb I shift to the little ring and am looking down to see what gear I am in when bamm. Out of nowhere there is a guy standing in the middle of the road off his bike and I hit him dead on. Next thing you know I am laying on the ground unable to clip out of my pedal because of the angle that I am in thinking "holly crap is this really happening again". I managed to taco a rear wheel, break a rear hanger (thank god its removable) and seriously hurt my quad. My day is done and next thing you know Garrett is off the front and I'm heading home. AGAIN.
I'm going to take a few weeks off right now so I hope nobody has any objections to that. This whole thing was a great idea. Really it was!