Off the bike

G'day, I just had to check up to see what I wrote about in my last diary and didn't realise it's...

June 17, 2008

G'day,

I just had to check up to see what I wrote about in my last diary and didn't realise it's been so long since I last wrote. I did mention in my last diary that I was pretty pumped to have a good Philly week and Tour de Beauce. I didn't mention that they were my major goals for the year. I came out of Tour de Georgia in good form and things were looking good until Allentown, the first Philly race.

After Georgia, I got the following weekend off to relax at home and spend some time with my girlfriend Ali. The boys went to Roswell and Anniston to fly the flag and notch up some results. I enjoyed some down time before getting ready to rip into the kilometres.

The following two weekends were spent doing some local races. Two races, two wins, not bad! I won the Hot Sumner Classic in White House for the third year in a row and Sulli backed that up with a second. I love that race and it's always a good hit out. Not what I can say about the previous weekend's dog show at a Georgia Cup. Pretty happy I don't have to do anymore of them.

I'd been ripping into the training but the solo miles were starting to crack me so I recruited Sulli to come up to Nashie for 10 days, just before the Hot Sumner. We ripped into the training and had a great time while doing it. The golf clubs came out and the cricket bat made a come back also. Sulli, Ali and I raised a few eyebrows playing cricket out the front of Jesse's house in Nashie. My golf game has also been on the up! I have slowed everything down and spent time keeping my left elbow straight and it seems to be working. Unfortunately for Sulli in his first game ever, he spent a fair bit of time pulling golf clubs out of the bag, but he was getting there by the end.

Finally it was time to come out to play; I'd done the work, I had the form, I just had to get the results. The pressure was on coming into Philly week. I hadn't have too many race days in the legs and therefore not a huge array of results. That as well as the fact that I'd told my team this was 'my week,' I felt some pressure.

I lined up at the CSC Classic for the first time, mainly to use it as a hit out and to lead out our sprinters. Well, there was no use for the lead out as a break went in the opening laps and we missed it. So we chased along with Kelly Benefits. I pulled the pin after the wasted effort but felt good on and bike and was content with that.

Going into Leigh high, the first Philly race, I had mixed feelings. I knew it wasn't going to be as tough as Lancaster (my favourite of the Philly races, but excluded from the format this year), but not as easy as Trenton (another former Philly race). As it turns out, I didn't have to worry too much about that after I came down in a stupid pile up just before the feed station mid-race. Straight away, I knew I'd done something to my wrist or hand. It's the first time in my career I hadn't gotten up after a crash.

After the race I went to the hospital and sure enough I'd broken my hand and fractured my wrist. I was completely devo'd! The one fortnight of the year I'd focused on was over though I was still determined to line up in Philly and Tour de Beauce. As time dragged on though I realised that I was kidding myself. You can't ride Philly 90 percent fit, let alone with a broken hand. Plus I didn't want to ride a race, I wanted to race it and win it, not just roll around for a few laps.

The team itself decided to send me to the Tour de Beauce anyway. It was either that or send me home where I'd sit on the lounge feeling sorry for myself. At the time though, while I was mopping around it did bring light to the situation when I saw Karl Menzies go down. I thought, 'shit it could be worse ay.' It is good to hear though that the big fella is going to be alright, it looked nasty.

In the Philly race, Stevo had a nice ride to finish in the top 20 and showed he can step up to the plate when needed. It was also his birthday so no doubt he knocked down a few quiet ones that night. I rode in the car, as I also did in Reading and it gave me a different prospective that's for sure. I also noticed things I hadn't noticed while racing: the crowd, the scenery, etc.

Tour de Beauce

The team headed to Quebec for Tour de Beauce. The hopes of me doing anything in this race were all but over so I thought I'd go out with a bang. My plan was simple, attack from the gun, win the KOMs, finish the stage, start stage two in the jersey and pull out. In cycling, it doesn't work to plan that much though. I did, however, get up the road solo after attacking first (which I have never done in my career) and got five and a half minutes. I won the first KOM and sprint, and thought I was looking good. However, it was not to be they brought me back short of the second KOM. When I got caught I jumped straight in the car, my wrist was killing me and I could hardly hold the bars.

For the first time in my career I also changed my brakes around so I was riding left hand front as I couldn't use my right hand. My mechanic wrote me a reminder on my handle bars (see photo).

I did gain some broken ribs from my stupidity also. I had cracked ribs, and I think from the rough roads and the breathing I finished the job on them. So I am kicking back in Saint Georges, near Quebec, playing a second DS role. It's been good in the car; I never realised actually how beautiful Beauce actually is. It was extremely painful yesterday though, to watch the hill top finish, where I really thought I could've done well.

I was just about to send this diary entry in when I walked down the road to watch the downtown criterium. My roommate Evan Elkin won the stage in class; solo with arms raised wide. I was so happy for him, couldn't happen to a nicer guy and it was well deserved. It finally gave me something to celebrate, it was fantastic.

I haven't touched my bike since I pulled out, mentally I need a week away from it and I think it will do my body well anyway. So I head back to Nashie in a few days. I will get back into training and my first race back will be BC Superweek near Vancouver in mid July.

The other think that's cracked me is that I wont be able to swing a club for a while, that's doing my head in, especially while watching the US Open on television.

Cheers,
Willo

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