Wednesday, June 21, 2006

R and R

back to the blogging world for me. this will be a long one so bear with me. After a rough philly week in which i crashed 3 times in just over a week, i wasn't exactly psyched to write and once again explain what happened; however, i feel like my luck and racing has turned around a bit since then and I'm back on the up instead of on the down.

aside from my crash in the final 200 meters, philly was actually a pretty good day. Last year I didn't makethe final selection there, for a number of reasons, just not having "i"t being one of them. This year though was different and it gave me a new appreciation for the race. Its definitley different then any other race we do all year, especially making it to the 6th hour of racing. I know all those big pros like julich, horner and even pate always say the race isn't hard enough to force a really small selection, and that very well may be the case because we still had 30 or so guys at the finish, but for me, racing the full distance of 250km, and still being there to actually "race" at the end was a tough feat. anyway, the team rode solid throughout the day with Glen and I made the final group. It was great to have a guy like Glen by my side to keep me going and give me all those pointers that only a veteran like him could share. unfortunatley, i took a hard spill in the closing meters of the race as everyone was blurry eyed and diving for wheels. It really sucked to be that close to finishing that race strong and with a good result, but the positive is that i was there and now i know what it takes.

post race was also a bit of a sad time because i had to say my goodbyes to Clara. she's off to Italy to spend a good part of the summer with her parents and rip some legs off over there. I'm already missin her like crazy but at least now I am home and able to have plenty of phone and computer contact with her.

on to the next race.... right after philly we had to drive up to Quebec for the Tour De Beauce which started on tuesday! 250km of racing, a travel day and then a 6 day stage race. ouch!!! upon arriving in quebec i felt like i had been hit my a truck and then trampled by a heard of bulls. i really wasn't sure how i was gonna bring my body to race, but brian and glen convinced me that my body would come around once we got racing again. well, eventually my body did begin to come around, but not before 2 of the most horrific days on the bike i've had in a long time. the first two stages were absolute misery, filled with constant suffering and pretty much total mental and physical breakdown by the finish. i lost time both days and also had begun to watch the best young rider jersey slip out of my reach which was tough to see, knowing that had i come to this race fresh and at my best, these races would have been near perfect for me. on the 3rd day, things began to turn around. Glen, Brian and Tom rode like maniacs all day keeping Teddy and I up front and out of the wind. i can't say how crucial and helpful this was since the day would end on the beast of a climb, Mount Megantic and serious time gaps were sure to happen. The climb was insane. only the 2nd mtn top finish i've ever done and also one of the hardest climbs i've ever raced on, but I rode alright and ended up 15th on the day, putting time into the columbian kid who was leading the best young rider competition. It wasn't a massive result in itself, but the team had finally got things to click a bit and set us up for a good stage 4.

Stage 4 was a double day. 15km TT in the morning and a crit that didn't count for GC in the afternoon. Once again i wasn't sure what to expect out of my smashed legs, but it went quite well. I ended up 8th on the day and also was able to take over the red jersey as new leader of the best young rider classification. Zirbel crushed the course, holding a top 3 time for almost the entire day until that last few heads of state took the the course. still, Tom ended up with a highly impressive 6th place.

The next 2 days were a brutal set of circuit races. rad courses with wacky amounts of climbing and all kinds of leg breaking attacks throughout the days. stage 5 got whittled down to a select front group of 30 in which both sheedy and I found ourselves in. brian rode like a hauss once again making sure i was up at the front ready for any more splits that would happen. The last stage was more of the same and also the hottest of the days at a blistering 95 degrees! a long drag of a climb that was popping guys off the back from lap one and then a roller coaster decent back to the start finish. with our reduced team, we played it safe and stayed out of trouble all day to finish in the whittled down bunch and clinch the red jersey for Priority health, ending a hard week of racing.

doing this from my bros computer so pics are n/a but i will see what i can do in the next day or two.

Back in MI now for a few days of R and R. hope the summer is treating you all nicely!

ciao ciao


Lampshade said...

This is certainly a surprise. I am so bored at work that I am using technology to it's fullest. Man keep on riding strong. I know Philly week did not turn out like you would have liked but you are a helluva rider and nothing but bigger and better things will come from what you just endured. Enjoy the R & R b/c you deserve it.

Clara said...

You're my HERO!! xx

baltoscott said...

Great fortitude up North. You definitely have all of the tools to do very well. Keep at it and by 25 you'll be scary.

Brent Bookwalter said...

thanks scott! I never got the chance to run your name by Gord, but I do really do appreciate your support!!