A lot has happened in my time away from this blog. We had our para team training camp here in the Springs, competed in the UCI Paracycling Road World Championships in Roskilde, Denmark, and now I’m packing up to move (more on this later).
22 bikes and 25 athletes (three tandem pilots that count as equipment) were named to the worlds team and made the trip to Roskilde, about 30 minutes outside Copenhagen. We were greeted with cold temps, lots of wind and rain. Coming from the blazing heat of the Colorado summer- days were consistently over 90°- it was a bit of a shock to the system. Personally, I like the rain and don’t mind the wind so it was just the cold that I was somewhat unenthused about. I do have to say that our week in Roskilde was the perfect opportunity to make good use of DZNuts In Heat embrocation- no legwarmers needed with that stuff.
We had several days of training before competition started. Both the time trial and road race were held on the same 15.3k loop so we did almost all of our riding on the course. By the end of the week, we were all extremely familiar with the course and could probably run through it backwards in our minds. The course had a bit of everything- long straights, little kickers of climbs, and fast, technical sections. In typical euro race fashion, the roads were narrow, had some roundabouts, a small town with thatched roofs on the houses, fields full of cows, and even some optional cobbles. I really enjoyed it this course.
Come race day- the TT was first- the rain stopped and the wind subsided leaving us with cool to cold temperatures. With just one lap of the 15.3k course, it was going to be a fast and furious race to the finish. Because of the scheduling of the other riders going off that day, I did not have a follow car or radio- I would be riding blind. Rather than having a follow van, there was a photo moto around me for big sections of the race which will be interpreted as I must have looked damn good. At one point, one of the horses ran alongside me from fence to fence of its pasture. That’s never happened before. The ride went well and after the results were in, I finished up 3rd behind Great Britain with the win and Poland in 2nd.
Two days later was the road race. Things went off like fireworks right from the start. My teammate Kelly and I soon found ourselves in the first chase group of four riders with the two leaders up the road. With no help whatsoever from the other two riders, it was up to us to us to do the work. Several big pulls later I got popped out of the chase group- a cardinal sin- and found myself on my own, in no man’s land. That’s how things finished up and I rode solo in for a 6th place finish. It’s certainly not the way I’d hoped the road race would play out but it is what it is and it’s done.
The road season is all but finished- we have Pan-Ams in Guadalajara, Mexico in mid November- and now it’s on to track nationals at the end of the month. No rest for the weary!