One week prior to World Championships, we competed at the final stop of the UCI’s World Cup circuit in Matane, Quebec, three hours south of Baie-Comeau. The two time trial courses were similar to each other and would serve as the final dress rehearsal before Worlds a week later. Perfect execution was the goal for the World Cup.
|Some of the Matane TT medalists|
The team’s head coach, Andy, was in my follow car. After some technical problems with the race radio, we decided not to use it. Rather, he would use a bullhorn to relay information to me. Having nearly constant feedback and encouragement throughout the race in Matane was incredibly helpful. From the start, I knew it was going to be a good day. Staying in control and going relatively slowly for the first three minutes had me raring to open things up. After that, everything felt great. Mentally, things were sharper than ever; leg speed was excellent; every opportunity to straight-line turns was maximized; speed and power increased throughout the race; position on the bike stayed the same from beginning to end despite fatigue. I crossed the line with a comfortable margin of victory. It was as close to a perfect ride* as I’ve ever been.
|Warming up in Baie-Comeau.|
When finishing the first of two laps on the circuit, Andy relayed that I was 37 seconds up on second place. By this point, Andy was going crazy yelling into the bullhorn, giving encouragement, and feedback. Hearing “you’re riding for a World Championship” was chilling, even in a semi-delirious state. Hearing teammates stationed around the course watching and cheering gave an added boost of energy. It was fun.
|On the podium with teammate Sam H.|
|Jersey, medal, bib.|
For the first time in years, I didn’t go into Worlds counting the days until racing was over just to have a break from the bike; counting the days left before packing up the bikes and not looking at them for as long as possible. Rather, I arrived in Baie-Comeau energized and excited to race, excited to go out and play bikes because that’s all it is- playing bikes. I left with the same excitement and motivation to get better.