Cycling is a tough sport at the best of times; combine racing with being sick and you are hardly racing just surviving. The San Dimas Stage race from a personal perspective was a shocker. Since racing in Florida I have been battling to ditch a bad cold, which instead manifested itself into a chest infection. When you sound like a heavy smoker when tapping out a mere 150W on the pedals you have to play mind games with yourself, shrug it off and kid yourself it’s because of the altitude and it will all be fine on the day.
Stage 1 was a 4 mile TT up Glendora Mountain. Due to the gradient nobody used TT bikes. Time trials are just you against the clock, it’s a case of how much you want it and how much you can push through and block out the pain. I decided to start out as if I was miraculously going to pull a great ride out of the bag. 1 minute in and I felt like I was breathing through a straw, needless to say the next 17 minutes were an arduous struggle . My team mates put in really impressive rides leaving all to play for in the next 2 stages. Stage 2 was by far the worst conditions and most layers I’ve ever raced my bike in. For me it was only a repeat of the previous days struggle and I was forced to pull the plug early on, not a nice experience. On the final day I cheered my team mates on from the side lines. It was also a good learning experience seeing how the race unfolded tactically and awesome to watch Jade only just losing out to the German champ Ina Teutenberg (arguably the fastest in the world) in the sprint.
We were lucky to be hosted by a lovely family not far from all 3 stages. It amazes me how families are so willing to give up their homes. We literally take over the whole house, fridge, garage, and plonk a massage table in their living room. Watch this video http://www.uride.tv/live-stream/03/16/2012/San+Dimas+Stage+Race/ (the one on the right hand side) - I really hope I don’t sound like that…! It makes for a nice change to staying in hotels and having to eat out every night. I am now back in North Carolina. With nearly a month until my next race I can focus on getting100% again before cracking on with a hard block of training.