Well its my first day back from the Tour of Abitibi and after I finally got done unpacking I decided I would tell you guys a little bit about living the stage racing life.
From the start it was a very interesting race and I knew immediately that it was going to be something new for me and a learning experience. The second I found out that we were sleeping in classrooms on foam mattresses I knew that this would be kinda a good wake up call of how to rough it.
Even though it was a class room me and the gang figured out how to hook up the projector and use it to play a bunch of movies from this cool website we found so that basically made the room a lot more nice to stay in and gave us something to do in our spare time.
The university that we were staying in looked nice but it had no air conditioning whatsoever, which meant that myself and the other guys would be fighting each every moment for the one and only fan that was provided for us.
Now thats basically where we spent most of our time; that and the cafeteria. We would go there every day to get our food which consisted of eggs and ham in the morning (everyday), pasta and rolls for lunch, and chicken on a stick with green beans.
It wasn’t much but it was one of our favorite places in Canada at the time because it was the only place with good wifi in the building. We would basically eat and chill out there for a good bit and get caught up with the outside world and the tour.
After that we would head over to Subway where we would get clocked for $11.00 for a sandwich. It sucked but thats the price you pay for real food in Canada.
Now lets talk about getting ready for the race. Most of the days you would have to take a bus over to the start and because of that you would have to pack up everything you needed and or wanted before, during, and after that race. This would also take a lot of your time up before you get on that bus to get everything ready so you would have everything you needed.
Once you got to the race you would have to locate a changing room to put your gear on. After that you would head over and look at the map of the course and figure out where the wind was and the climbs and then grab some bars and gues. Once you have accomplished this you head over to the sign in and…wait for it…. sign in, After that you would head over to roll out, and if you pass your last stop would be the starting line.
Each race had a bit of a neutral start where you would stay behind the comisar for a couple kilometers.
This was usually the scariest part of the race because of the fact that guys would try and draft of the comisar and she didn’t like them getting close so she would speed up but she also didn’t want to get to far so she would slow down and the guys would sprint back up to her and this caused a lot of chaos in the field.
Now on the racing side of things it was very aggressive.
There would be constant attacks and if an attack got up the road and it didn’t get pulled back, eventually everyone would just make there way into it. The cool thing was that we would be flying doing averages of 27+ mph on 76 mile road races. If you wanted to get off the front sometimes in order to get the initial split you would have to come off doing 40 mph, it was nuts but crazy awesome.
The only sucky part was the fact that the courses were super flat and when there were hills they usually had KOMs on them and my director told me that he didn’t want me to go for them, which basically sucked because it seemed like the Colombians were the only ones concerned with them.
When it came down to the finishes, for about five out of the seven stages we finished in this seven mile circuit and I would attack like mad and take a two to go flyer with a three other guys then get brought back, or a one to go flyer then get brought back due to the teams wanting it to be a sprint, and after that I would just try and stay out of the crashes to protect my gc for our team.
Thats basically what would go down on a day to day bases. It was a really cool experience and just a ton of fun. I’m definitely a lot stronger now than before I did the race, and I can’t wait to do it again.