May 7, 2012

You Can't Win Em All - Weekend (Wortegem/Overijse)

So after such a good first weekend here in Belgium I had really high expectations for this weekend. We started with one of the higher end races, similar to that of past tuesday, an Interclub. It seemed like it was going to be warm but then it turned to 5 degrees and started to rain. With just armwarmers and an undershirt the only way to stay warm was to attack. I attacked and went in moves constantly all day and none stuck. By the finale (I was completely cracked and worthless in sprinting) I attacked with the hope of being given excess rope to stay away. I lasted maybe 400m and then came back with 700m to go. I stayed right in the front 10 and sprinted all out when the other guys turned on the jets. Sadly I was completely wrecked and could only manage 53/186. It was like I was sprinting backwards through the pack. The following day we had a smaller Kermesse race. I once again went with all the moves and team canada worked hard to try to make a move work. We finally figured it out and got a 2 man break with Etzl and myself to form. We stayed away for about 30km having a gap that peaked at 45 seconds. We were surprisingly brought back after what we thought was the winning break and back to our old tactics it was. We couldn't do anything all race as no one was willing to go in a move but rather just chase it down. With so much down hill and junior gears we had very little space to push our advantage, if we had maybe 4 more riders the difference on the hills with the pack would have been much closer and the prospect of staying away would have been much more reasonable. Etzl tried to lead me out on the technical decent that lead to the finish but with junior gears and a lot of hard work our sprints were depleted and all I could manage was 9/50.

So the lessons I learned this weekend is that I am no superhero. I was soo pumped after winning two big  races in a row and then finishing 4th in the biggest of belgian races that my expectations of win or be disapointed were way too high. I was pretty down after not improving on myself from one weekend to the next. What I think I missed however was that not every race will end in a break. I have to accept that even if I feel I am among the strongest its not always the strongest who win but the fastest and smartest. If I would of been able to identify that breaks weren't getting away I could of saved my energy for a late attack or the sprint. I may feel my training is excellent but it's knowledge and tactical sense that plays the bigger role, I need to learn more than just how to get into breaks.

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