August 1 and the rest of the pro world goes back to racing bikes. With the lull of racing that can happen for so many pro riders during the TDF August brings an interesting time. It is a time of transfers and talks for some riders. A time for rest for others and time for a second chance for most. The post tour race calender is full of great opportunities to push on the pedals. For many riders it is a chance to bounce back from spring time luck that maybe went the wrong way. It is also a good time for young riders and up and coming teams to make their mark on the season. With the spring classics prep and battles long gone and the tour leaving even some of the hardest racers limping home on tiered legs, many see an opportunity to shine in August.
I think the attitude on our team is no different. There is a renewed energy being back in the heart of the racing world and a lot of optimism about what we can accomplish on this Euro tour 2.0.
For me personally this is the first part of the road campaign I feel that there has been enough time to get ready for. Much of the spring I struggled to pull the road form out from underneath the track structure I build (and in some cases, overbuild) all winter. Now this later part of the season usually has me feeling a bit more road ready. However, the races we are in over here are hard and we are certainly not going to find any handouts. This is something I knew but failed to respect in the opener of our euro trip.
The Sparkassen Giro was not a challenging course or a field that was any different from what we usually race. But with 2 months away from the hustle and flow of Euro racing you tend to be a bit rusty. That and the fog of jet lag can certainly leave you more than a few steps behind. I certainly burned a lot of energy just shaking the rust and the nerves off. It was good to see some of the other guys sliding right back into that flow. This is where you can see a real difference in the time I spend on the track. I only had 4 or maybe 5 race days in Europe total so it has not exactly been built into my programing yet. Although we did not come out with a result from that first race you could see many of the guys feeling comfortable back in these kinds of races. As a team mate it is great to know we can pick up where the team left off and hopefully take advantage of the strange time that is the august racing calender.
I am scheduled to do something like 14 days or racing here so I am excited to have so many chances to finally push my skills to a new level where I can hopeful stop making mistakes and start letting the legs do the talking.