This year I got the opportunity to race the 2017 Redlands Bicycle Classic with the Battley Harley Davidson Team. Redlands is one of the toughest races in the US, so it was for sure going to be a good one.
Now let's rewind a bit, after the wonderful Trek Red Truck Team Camp in Palm Springs, I headed to Oxnard, CA for some training before the Tour of Gila. I was feeling great winning a few of the local criteriums and getting in some good training for Gila and Redlands later on. Unfortunately, before I went to Gila, I got a stomach virus which completely took me out of commission for a whole week. It was actually quite bad and landed me in the hospital for a day. After some good recovery I was ready to start training again.
I only had about a week to train before heading to Redlands to race again so I had to do a very focused training block; I was feeling good, my efforts were good, and I felt ready for the race. I didn't feel good in the first stage of the race however, which was the time trial. It was very hot out and my legs just felt like jelly. It was very frustrating but I just had to brush it off and continue on.
In stage two I managed to get myself into the early breakaway, but much like stage one, my legs just couldn't take the 110% effort I needed to put in to stick with it. Stages 3, 4, and five were a road stage, a crit, and another road stage respectively. I could feel my legs starting to come around slowly, but the level required for any sort of result is so high at these races, you really have to be on top form of course.
So after all is said and done I can't be too hard on myself, I didn't have a great race but it could have been a lot worse. Getting sick is unfortunate and even though I felt better again, the legs and my general fitness level still needed some more time to recover. I'm happy to go home now, recover some more, and get back to racing with my mates on Trek Red Truck!