ignorance is bliss

September 4, 2007 § Leave a comment

or, The Curse of the Phantom Phlat

It used to be that my fitness didn’t quite live up to my desire to win and the risks I was willing to take for it, but in the past couple months that’s all flip-flopped. The killer panda instinct is on vacation…

Since districts I’ve pretty much quit training for this year; I’m back to pseudo-base, trying to build a little more for next year so I can hopefully be around to see the ends of races instead of just hearing about them after the fact. It’s been great, actually. I have a ton of love for my bike, I feel strong and there’s no pressure; I was psyched up and ready for the Giro.

And the Giro went really well, as far as I know — I can speculate all I want at this point. I have a spotty history with the Giro: it was my first race as a cat 3 (2005 – I was dropped in three laps and lapped/pulled in seven), my last race as a cat 3 (2006 – I was seeing spots after the 3s race that morning where I took second and pulled out halfway through). Being in a protected spot this year took a little leap of faith for me, but I was rested and felt great, so I put it out there. Halfway through I started my pep-talk-to-self, and realized that I didn’t need it — I wasn’t struggling on the hill, I had a great group of teammies watching the front and our ace in the sleeve sprinter waiting in the wings next to me, and really, I was having a great time. Excellent.

The last lap was a bit frantic (my fault), but my teammies were there to help me be where I needed to, and I leapfrogged their wheels until Proman Shelly came barreling alongside me into the hill; no use wasting that move. I hopped on and powered up the hill behind her, and as I stood up to crest my back wheel started hopping and squishing all over the place like I had a flat. It continued feeling squishy when I sat back down and slotted in. At Dunnigan I rode the last several miles on a slowly flatting (and flatted) front tire, figuring it out when I tried to go around that last corner. I really didn’t think it was a good idea to try and burn the last two corners on an iffy tire, so when Jane blew through the pack to follow Proman’s attack I made the decision to remove myself from the situation; I sat up. And we won. And my tire wasn’t flat, so either something is going on with the hub or I was just pulling on the pedals too hard. One way or another, I had to make a decision fast. Apparently it wasn’t worth the risk, and I’m wondering where this self-preservation stuff came from.

But damn, was that a lot of fun. Anyone up for Benecia?

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