Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Motivated, Moving, and Merry
The week-end before last I had the pleasure of helping the riders racing for the Eat Clean Diet Women's Cycling Team at the Grand Prix of Gatineau. This was a professional race with an elite field and Anne Samplonius, Krista Ruby, Cynthia Wilson-Nelson, and Leigh Hargrove raced awesome! The road race was 100km that the women finished in 2:26 - that's an average speed of over 40 km/hr! I rode in the team's support vehicle with driver Jason Cheney and mechanic Sean Wakefield. Luckily our team had no mechanical issues and the highlight for me was feeding Krista from the car, a first time for both of us. She took up extra bottles to Anne and did a great job filly domestique duties.
Anne, in the picture on the top courtesy of Rob Jones, has been a professional for close to 20 years and she was a great asset to our team. All of the riders on the team were competing in their first professional race, or in Leigh's case, first pro race in 13 years, and the advice and guidance that Anne offered was appreciated. She was very supportive which helped the newbies whose eyes were wide open to learn as much as they possibly could. I can't express just how proud I am of how everyone rode, it was a hot day at over 30 degrees, the speed was smoking fast, the pack was bigger then what the women have been racing in, and I came away from the race motivated and excited to be in the sport again.
My training and racing over the past month has been inconsistent. I raced the Niagara Classic, which is where the picture was taken by Shannon Nesdoly, and the Effingham Hill kicked my butt - I just haven't been training enough to hold my own on a hill this steep. Then I had some good and some really bad performances at the Tuesday night training criteriums. I went in to the St. Lawrence criterium excited to race downtown and with confidence from a good, solid, week of training, only to get whipped by young boys. I had one of the worst rides I've had in a long time that day, I didn't feel like I belonged on a bike at all and old injuries crept up. But after being in Gatineau and watching the women race I was reminded of what it was like to race well, and to have fun at a big race, and was motivated to start training harder and get my fitness back.
Since the week-end in Quebec I have had great rides, and more importantly have really been enjoying my time on the bike - all I want to do is ride and it is feeling good! With summer now officially here I am looking forward to the next few months of hot weather and good riding. See you on the road!