August 14, 2008
It's been a pretty hectic past month. It was meant to be pretty straight forward; go to BC Superweek, get some race fitness, get back to Nashville and get some good miles in, do something at Charlotte Invitational, then freshen up for the Tour of Utah. It all went slightly pear shaped in Vancouver though. Crash, broken bike, mechanical, bad form? No stolen identity!
When I last wrote, I was on the way to British Columbia for BC Superweek. I was looking forward to it with no expectations and no pressure. We all flew into Seattle a few days previous, picked up out hire van along with Evan Elkin's sweet ride and headed to Vancouver after staying the night in Seattle and catching up with my old sparring partner Jonny Sunte – he's always worth a laugh.
We arrived in Delta, an hour drive from Vancouver to be met by the nicest hosts ever. Tour of Delta was made up of a TT, criterium and road race. Matt Shriver was second in the tour and second in the criterium; Cody and Evan were second and fourth respectively in the road race while I won the KOM competition in my first race back. Gerard and I bid farewell to our hosts, their pool, their jakusi, the kids and their wine collection to head into Vancouver centre.
Next on the schedule was Gastown, a 90-minute criterium – full gas. My body got a pretty quick wake up call to hard racing, I really suffered all race. Big Ev came through with a fourth.
The very next day, we went to White Rock to get ready for the next few days racing. We were there early and decided to kick around the beach front while we waited for out hosts to get home. One minute we were all joking around laughing with each other about how it felt more like a holiday then a race (due to the fantastic weather and the beach) and the next thing the s**t hit the fan. Our van had been broken into. Gerard's bag stolen with his bike gear in it (lucky there was a Garneau representative at the race to sort some more gear for him) and my laptop bag gone. I had everything in that bag; my laptop, camera, iPod, chargers, photos, training diary and passport. Once I got over the initial devastation of losing all my photos back until last November, the reality of no passport and visa while being in Canada sunk it. I was in some Barney Rumble (trouble).
The team went and race Giro di Burnaby, I wasn't really into it, but I lined up nevertheless. Cody and Ev were both in the top 11.
The next day, for preparation for the afternoon's TT for the Tour White Rock I went into Vancouver to sort out my life. I made stops at the US and Australian embassy's. I definitely didn't light up the TT course and rode a career worst in the criterium; I just had no energy, probably from stress. Though Matt Shriver was tearing it apart with third in the TT and fourth in the criterium.
Matt was equal leader coming into the last road stage and Jittery Joe's took charge of the race along with the help of Symmetric's. All Matt had to do is stay with Chris Horner in the last 30 kilometres and beat Andrew Pinfold across the line. Easier said than done, but Matt came through with the good and won the overall while Horner won the stage.
It turned out to be a great week for the team, all mishaps aside. The boys headed back across the border and I headed back to Delta to sort my US visa out. Six days later, I got it sorted and flew back to Nashville. My hosts Sandy and Michelle were awesome while helping me out and looking after me. The only problem with being there is I was not getting the training in I wanted due to making daily trips into Vancouver.
It was good to finally get home and get back into a routine. I did a lot of cramming of miles. We headed to Charlotte for the big money criterium. I wasn't expecting much seeing I hadn't done a race that hard for a long time. What I didn't expect was to get popped from the winning break. I was one of the last guys across to the move and I red lined it to get there. I knew I just needed two laps to get settled in, but I just never recovered. I was so bummed to say the least – it's the cardinal sin.
The next day, though, the team came back to get second with Jono Cantwell to put the moral back into the team. I did learn one thing from the weekend though. Apparently, I have commitments and requests to fulfil for people I don't know, after I am clocked out for the day, while trying to eat lunch in peace. Now that I have had that pointed out to me, I will try and be a better person in the future and let people talk to me like a monkey. I am certainly not Pacman Jones (for you Aussie's, he is a football bad arse over here) and I love journalists with nothing better to do, but interrupt my busy Monday golf day.
The last week has been full of last minute preparation for the Tour of Utah, which I hope and need to have a good ride at. I don't think I am at my best, but it will do. Legs feel good, I have had some racing, I have a computer back, my hand is almost 100% and I even got a game of golf in (I think my broken hand improved my game).
Finally, I would like to thanks John Gilbert and Jo Ellen who helped me out beyond the call of duty when I got back to Nashville.
Hope everyone enjoying the Olympics. I haven't seen much Aussie stuff, but I gotta say the comeback of the USA in the 4*100m freestyle was pretty awesome to watch. A great sporting moment, and I am a true blue Aussie saying this. I don't think I jumped as high as my room-mates Jesse and Jen though.