September 27, 2012

Junior Worlds 2012

The worlds are always an insane experience. First on the agenda was the ITT. For those who know me, and know others who are specialists in this discipline they can identify the fine line that separates us. I am not a time trial specialist. The wake up call that came with my proverbial pooping the bed at the TT at Trofeo Karlsburg World Cup turned on my Time Trial mindset a mere 3 months ago. That is not enough time to turn a donkey into a race horse. Just a slow donkey into a slightly agile donkey. I had a great warm up, I made a detailed schedule (including pee breaks) that I will definitely use at every ITT I do from now on! With this schedule I arrived 15 minutes before my start. I had hoped to gain access to rollers in the start house, but sadly they only had trainers and my skewer on my disk was not compatible so I was forced to sit for the 15 minutes before my start. Still relatively warm I rolled out with dossard 44 on my back, ranking me 44/66 starters, I looked to better this ranking. My loose, no expectations, "wow getting to ride the ITT is a bonus" mindset had me seeking a top half placing, within 2:00 minutes of the winner. Going as hard as I could and focusing on keeping my head down on the straightaways I achieved half of these goals. 1:56 behind the World Champ but sadly 13 seconds from a placing in the top half. 37th as my result.

Passing my 1:30 man 800m before the finish

Putting the ITT behind me it was time to start focusing on the Road Race, but first came the junior conference. At the conference we listened to Cavendish, Vos, Pat McQuaid, and Christian Prudhomme  who are currently some of the most powerful people in cycling as they gave us advice for our cycling careers. Chris asked Cav how he found the transfer from Junior to U23, and an American rider asked what his favourite glasses were. Lots to learn. Then they did the classic quiz show for prizes at the end of the conference. If you remember the outcome of last year's quiz show I won an all access VIP trip to the Tour de France, which turned into a long Euro Trip, which turned out to have some successful racing, which turned into a U23 contract. This year I did not win the quiz although this year there was 10 winners. 1st place got a 5000$ bike frame but 2nd place was a 200$ helmet. I picked the right year to win.

For those of you who just scanned over every thing you have finally found it, I will now talk about the most important aspect of cycling, the World Road Race Championships. I started the race with the belief I was capable of being a factor but some small doubts after it was reinforced upon us this race will be the hardest we have ever done. A side note to the race is at one point I found myself beside Geoffrey Curran (that American Guy) and asked him what his favourite Oakley's were, he had a more absolute answer than Cav, but only because he only has one pair of glasses. After a poor call up position it took me two laps to make it to the front where I stayed for most of the race, drifting back on occasion. In those two laps there were TONNES of crashes. I had to put my foot down on three occasions, one crash covered the width of the road, the cross world champion body check over some barriers while riding unclipped and I even saw an Algerian catch air of a bus stop curb! crazy as hell! But as the laps went on, and the Cauberg got harder and more gaps began to form I knew it would be paramount to be as far forward as possible the last time up. I descended like a maniac down the backside of the cauberg and moved into the top 30, then on the way up I made it to the top 10! I was amazed I rode so effortlessly (killed myself) against the world class field. Once on top we picked up our speed a little..... with the tail wind and limited gears we were going pretty quick..... we all had a modest cadence of 170rpm. With this it was impossible to find more speed and after a little loss of momentum dodging a crash I was a little disapointed with my 37th place finish where a top 10 was more than possible.

Staying up front on the Cauberg

Me on the far left, wishing I had more gears (Notice how the front of the peleton is curved following the small crash)

A well rounded 37's across the board at worlds marks the end of my racing season, I will do a season review next week!  

As always I have to give a huge thanks to my Family's, (the one cheering me on at home and the two taking care of me in Europe), My Coach Rick (who makes me go fast), the CHCH team (for taking me to races, cheering me on and giving me training buddies) and SpinSanityCycles for ensuring me I get to use great equipement and allow me not to panic about finding a ITT bike before every race (It takes a special group of people to sponsor a junior).  

If you are illiterate.... or what is most often the case, just don't like reading, here are my interviews!

       In this one Hugo does some obscene gestures behind me... that is why I laugh for no reason

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