Sunday, July 20, 2008

Charles Coin Race / Tour de France

It is funny, and a little frustrating, how things can turn around and all the plans and wants have to be thrown away. I am not talking about the Tour de France and/or any of my heroes racing the biggest cycling event in the world. I am talking about myself racing "my race", in this case the very anticipated Charles Coin Memorial.
Charles Coin Memorial
I first raced this event as a Masters B, in 2006. I have good memories of that year's race as I was finally getting comfortable in the large fields and was starting to reach a really good form. Also in that race was the late Jon Brooks, a good man above all but a great guy to race with. I certainly learned a fair bit just racing with Jon.
In that particular race, we attacked the bunch a few times together. We helped each other not getting spat at the back a couple of times as well and we flew around the last corner together. I remember been on his wheel with a few hundred meters to the line and following him through these little gaps. A great lead out. With about 300 m, I went around Jon and tried to drag him with me but he started to slow down and with 100 m I went. I managed to put my head in front but just for a couple of seconds as I then felt this sudden drop of speed as someone had held my seat. Freaky!
I got fourth and later found out that it was a light touch of wheels that cost me the race and caused that freak feeling you have when you about to crash. That's history and today was a little different.
As I mentioned before, this is an event I have been looking forward to race and even though I have been sick, I still "sort of" had hopes that I was going to wake up on Sunday feeling better. And got all prepared for it.
I started the preparation with the bike. I had finished gluing the new Conti tubular to my rear wheel (and what a process that was!!) during the week and had a new D-A bottom bracket fitted as for a while now, I had the feeling that there was something very wrong with drivetrain. Glad Mark did that for me, the bearings were totally shot, perhaps in need of replacement months ago.

The old BB might have been like that for a while...

I had an early dinner with Sandra and friends at an Italian place not far from home. I had a good plate of pasta (plus Sandra's for some extra carbo) and didn't even have a glass wine... Being a BYO restaurant, I took a bidon with E.F.S drink in it. Strange, I know but I was thinking of the next day.
We got home early and I started to pack for next morning. I also ask Sandra to kick me out of the tv room as the Tour telecast was about to start.

Racing wheels and new BB fitted

Race fuel & drink, chamois cream, etc

Bidons and gear bag (my cat and Trouble)

Ok, time to write down what is in that bag (my good luck racing bag. Just kidding!). Now, be aware, I always travel heavy!

1. racing shoes

2. racing helmet

3. 2XU bib shorts

4. club jersey

5. knee warmers

6. arm warmers x2 pairs

7. gloves x2 pairs

8. socks x2 pairs

9. small towel

10. sunny case

11. under shirt

12. gillet

I said I travel heavy. Well, I still put the spare wheels, track pump, sometimes the wind trainer in the car and often I take my training shoes and another jersey in case the weather person is forecasting a bit of rain in the area...

In bed just after 10 pm (had to force myself not to watch Stage 14) and asleep soon after.

6:40 am, I woke up and in no time realised that I was still sick, and feeling worst. How could that happen to me? It is the Charles Coin Memorial, lots of friends will be there, the course suits me, I even got a day off work just to race, I am packed... Well, it is the Charles Coin Memorial and Masters A will be racing 104 km and there is a chance they will put us together with Elite B, meaning it is going to be a very hard race. I might not be a healthy thing to do when feeling this sick...

A couple of phone calls later and I was back in bed for the rest of the morning.

My cat, no name

Tour de France - Stage 14, mes - Digne les Bains, 194.5km

Well, for some reason, I missed that one (above) and had to get on for a full report (even if I watch the stage live I still read CyclingNews reports).

Great to see the Green Jersey winning a stage.

Alps tonight. Can Cadel hold on to that jersey? I think not...


Chris said...

That is a bummer about your race. I hope you are feeling much better now.

AMRcyclist said...

Thanks Chris,

Another day at home. I've given up racing the state ITT championship next Sunday as well and I am not sure if I will be racing the next Open Event: Cunningham Classic.
Ah well, I will be good soon.


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