Cycling is amazing because it's so true that as a team you are stronger then the sum of the parts. You thrive off if each other’s energy and drive – it’s pretty awesome. I am excited and hugely proud that I was able to do my job for the team at my first worlds and deliver the sprinters in the best fashion possible in the last several kms.
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This trip is already just so good it needed a mid-camp blog post. So where to start: I am in Israel training for Worlds with Cycling Canada and the National Israeli team. The group we have here is a mix of U23 men, elite women, and elite men both from Canada and Israel.
The insanity is real. European racing is certainly a different beast then your typical North American road race. After racing some 10 races in my 20ish days in Belgium, the Erpe-Mère UCI race most certainly stands out in my mind as one for the books. This is mainly due to the insanity of it all; an insanity that could only be bike racing in Europe.
The best way to start this is with words from my coach: Belgium racing, like running into a brick wall, best to bring your hammer. After a strong Superweek and a spicy Cascades, the proverbial hammer was packed and I was ready for some fun on the other side of the pond.
Arguably the MK Delta Crit is one of the hardest races of BC Superweek. The circuit is rectangular with a fast down hill into a tight left turn on one of the long sides, and a grinding climb on the backside, and he start/finish is directly after the final left. Due to the closeness of the line, the race for all intents and purposes is a race to the fourth corner.
Cascades Cycling Classic has never been considered easy. This five-stage race is held in the hot and arid town of Bend Oregon and boasts lengthy road races with huge elevation gain. This stage race is notably challenging as it falls right after BC Superweek and many athletes, myself included, find it difficult to switch from crit mode to mountain climbing mode.
I have always wanted to give back to the local cycling community; for those who know me well, the skill I could contribute is my enthusiasm for sport and having fun. However, in the past I had found it challenging to find time between juggling working full time and training full time.
A friend once said "The Tour of Gila, this race is the hardest race ever, it will literally make you hate cycling." A week later, the Monster has passed and the stage race is now over.
Do I hate cycling? Not at all. Was it the hardest stage race ever? Pretty much.
IDGT = I Don't Get Tired - a very important thing to remember in stage races. Each day is hard, each day is a fight, yet you have to be on, race your best, and support your team mates with all you have.
The Redlands Time Trial is a fast 11 km out and back. On the way out this course is a stepping climb with the toughest part of the climb in the last two kilometres, and it was a tricky one to pace for a number of reasons: rough roads, grinding climbs, and fast down hills.