Another day, another trip! I left Boulder in the pouring rain. While I normally walk to the bus stop near my house, my family was kind enough to drive me the short distance so I would not have to be out in the rain. The bus to the airport is the stress-free way to get to the airport.
The plane ride was followed by a long car ride, and then another night in a hotel. I have spent 27 nights in the Holiday Inn so far this year. Nearly a month and it's only May! That is life here in the United States: travel, travel, and still more travel. It is a large country and we race in nearly every corner. Sometimes I find myself more fatigued from the travel than the actual race. Anyone want to loan me their jet? (Lance? Anyone?)
The Amgen Tour of California is right around the corner. It seems odd that the race is in May this year. The anticipation is growing from all of the waiting! I think we (domestic teams) are excited to see what we can do when we have some racing in our legs.
It was always difficult to start the year in February with such a big race when I hadn't had many days of racing. This is a great race and gives the domestic teams a shot at taking on the ProTour teams of Europe. While we may not have the budgets or large infrastructures, I see no reason why we can't be successful in California.
It's always fun to see our young riders in a break, or having a go at a sprint finish. It may not amount to much more than a few seconds of television time, but we are going to try just the same. At the end of the day we are all riders with numbers on our backs, so don't expect the domestic teams to lay out the red carpet for any larger teams!
I know at times the life of a professional cyclist can appear to be quite glamorous, but there are times when it just isn't so. This last weekend was tough for our family. My only sister got married back in Australia and we were unable to be there. I was racing at Gila and my wife and son are coming out for the Tour of California, so a trip to Australia would have been a bit much.
I come from a close family and obviously a wedding is an important event. It was hard not to think about my family as I was racing the crit in Silver City. The bottom line is that I am paid a wage to do my job and it is unrealistic to think that I could miss days of work to whip back to Australia in the middle of the season. Congrats to Alana and Tony!
So here we are, two weeks from the Amgen Tour of California. I don't know about everyone else, but the anticipation is killing me! I am looking forward to racing and I am sure all of the fans are eager to watch the racing. Come on out and support the race and organisers! We need the support of everyone to be sure events such as these continue in this country.
See you in California!