I drove down with my team, Trek Red Truck, to California. We're here to race the San Dimas Stage Race and Redlands Cycling Classic. I'm pretty excited about the racing down here. Redlands has been a race on my radar for the last two years.
I've heard from the local racers I look up to, I've read about it in Phil Gaimon's book, I've seen it on Cycling News and other 'big' cycling newsites. It's a legit thing, Redlands, the official opener to the NRC Calendar in North America, the first place to get noticed and get the attention of the DS from the teams you aspire to graduate to, have them keep tabs on you through the season. SO.... no pressure.
I'm kidding! There's TONS of pressure. Even with San Dimas, Redlands little brother, big teams from across North America are here early for Redlands, why wouldn't they get the most of their budget by doing two sizable races in the sun to get their legs turning over. Even with the pressure building towards getting here, I was really really stoked for the races down here.
I had a good 'pre-season' - maybe, early season is the better way to put it. Our Spring Series Racing in Vancouver is most of the cycling season in Vancouver, any locals that don't travel to races, these races are everything! And I was doing well, despite that I was sick for half of them and despite that in some races my teammates and I were outnumbered. My coach has me doing the best 10-20m power I've ever done and I feel like my recovery ability and sprinting is as good as ever with a solid season racing on the boards in Burnaby. So I was stoked. I thought if I was ever ready to open my season with an uphill Time Trial in heat I'm not used to (I even tried to acclimatize in saunas before heading down), now was the time.
Today is the morning after the uphill TT. It's really hard to not be disappointed with my time in the TT. But I need to come to terms with the fact that I'm a big rider. Big meaning: if I was at raceweight (which I'm not, I'm slowly getting there) I'd be at 77kg. I can put out some BIG numbers on the bike, numbers that like any other bike racer I'm eager to talk about on the long car rides, but I need to remember that those numbers only suit me when gravity is being friendly with me, or at least treating me just like anyone else. Gravity aside, directly after my effort I was really happy. I hit my power goal, again a PB for 15m (which turned into 16m, since I wasn't moving as fast as I'd hoped for that power), to hit that PB I knew was a lofty goal, but I achieved it and felt good. It wasn't until I realized how many people had bested me I got a little down.
So today I need to reset. I've been telling the younger, more clean cut kids on my team that I'm taking PMA this season. That all the cool bike racers know that they need to get on a program using PMA if they want to keep progressing as a racer. It's awesome because they look at me super confused, almost frightened. I guess it was appropriate that yesterday was April Fools and I could tell them 'POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE BROS!' and their faces would wash clean with relief. I guess maybe they went to less punk shows when they were young. Seriously though, I need to try and stay on that PMA tip. Especially when I'm getting bummed on my result from a course where I'm not very likely to shine among the talented skinny guys here for these races. I need those classics type course maybe. I can tell you I'm hyped on Fabian Cancellara's run at Flanders tomorrow and the rest of classics, not just because he's a legend, or it's his last season, but because wikipedia says he weighs 82kg at just an inch taller than me. I'm growing my hair a bit longer, so what is stopping me from winning on courses well suited to me?