Friday, July 22, 2011

Le Tour..le finale!

Three weeks just blew by- at least for me it has since the start of the Tour.  I've watched EVERY stage.  It's hard not to have fallen in love with Thomas Voekler..even if he is French. ha  If you know me well, you'll know that I'm not enamored with the French.  Don't get me wrong, France is a beautiful country..been there twice..and I'm sure the people are nice..but can't say that about their Governing body. 

This particular Tour had it all: dramatic sprint finishes, tough mountain stages, crashes, rainy cold days, etc.  Little disappointed with the "Shack" (and some of the crashes) but that's racing.  Actually, I'm a LOT disappointed since I lost a beer/dinner bet on Chris Horner winning a stage..but he crashed out. Levi?  Levi who?  And, the Alpe d'Huez did not disappoint today with the excitement it always brings.  As far as the overall winner..I can't say who will be standing on the top podium spot on Sunday.  It's looking good for Cadel Evans w/ a TT tomorrow.  However, he's going to be riding that TT with tired legs.  We'll see if he can overcome the time deficit to Andy Schleck.  As far as Alberto Contador (which I'm not a true fan of), he rode hard like a Champion it all he had.  Is it good enough for a podium spot?  Who knows.  I think the Giro took a little too much out of him. Still, any kind of podium spot for him will be a job well done.  Guess we'll see.

Lets just hope no more doping charges/cases arise post-race.  The sport doesn't need any more egg on its face.   As far as all you amateur racers out there, I hope you're having a good racing season.  A lot of the athletes I've coached in the past, and present, are having some of their best years ever.  Kudo to you guys.  The reason every one of you are doing well this year is (not because of my coaching) because of your hard work ethic.  Keep it going.  Before you know it, the road racing season will be over and some of you will be transitioning to Cyclo Cross.  Good luck in your preparation. 

For me, it's not been a good year.  I worked VERY hard over the Winter for my Spring kick-off Masters race (Battenkill) only to be disappointed by being caught up in a crash 10 miles into the race and losing contact with the lead dawgs. I know that's racing, but I also know it's bad luck.  It just put a sour taste in my mouth for the season that I never reallly rebounded from.  Instead of racing, this summer I concentrated on being a better official.  I even bought a motorcycle so I could start officiating from a moto for the 2012 season.  I've worked at least a race a weekend (officiating) and am gaining more experience. I'm also working/officiating with great people..some of the best in the business.  My busy work schedule has also put a damper on my training, making it impossible at times to ride/train during the week.  Additionally, this heat we've been experiencing this Summer has left me wiped out.  I'm not a heat person..never was..never will be.  I sweat like a pig in the heat (when I ride) and I almost have to carry a 2 gallon container to replace the fluid I lose on a 3 hr. ride.  If I don't replace the fluid- I'll bonk, like I did in Lake Placid over Memorial Day weekend. Not fun!  In fact, on one training ride I lost 4 lbs. of water weight and I don't even think the temps exceeded 90F.  And, that was with drinking two bottles of water, one bottle of Gatorade and a Gu. Enough of my whining. 

Speaking of Lake Placid....good luck to all the IMLP riders/racers this weekend.  I know you guys/gals have worked your butts off in preparation.  For the rest of you, and me, there's still a good month or two left in the road racing season.  Perhaps when this heat breaks I'll ramp up my training and finish the season strong with a couple races and try to achieve a goal or two that I set out to.  Regardless, I'll see you out on the race circuit whether I'm racing, coaching or officiating.

Power ON!  Coach Rob

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