A couple of sessions on the trainer, an extended commute to work (45 min), another commute maybe and I am ready for tomorrow's race. The Cunningham Classic is one of the hardest race on the calendar, maybe the hardest!
It is not the distance, it is not the climb. Maybe it is the windy open roads on the plains but what really kills me is the logistics for this race. Because the finish is nowhere near the start of the race (94 km away to be exact) riders have to organise a drive back to the start somehow. Some might say: "toughen up and ride back the 94 km", but when you have a hard race, trying to win and not just sit in, riding back is not an easy thing to do. All your energy has been used by the end of those 94 km.
Tomorrow, I will have to get up at 5:00 am for a 9:15 am start! Breakfast, packing the car, driving 240 km, getting ready for the race, signing in and warming up (never get the time for that!) are few of the things I will have to do before the start...
And warming up is needed for this race, that's if I want to get the prize for the KOM this year. Last year, I broke away from the bunch with 3 or 4 kms to the top, got chased and caught by one rider with a km to the KOM and outsprinted for the prize. He knew I had dragged him up the climb for most of the 1,000 m and promised to share the cash with me... Yeah, I believe you. Never saw a cent!!!
People often say: - It's not a hard climb!
I say: - Depends how fast you want to go!!
From there, it was a race for survival as I didn't get on the break away of 6 or 7 riders and chased really hard with another 7 riders for over 25 km. Finally, I got dropped from that group and finished somewhere in the top 15, I think!Frankly, I don't think I am in better form this year but I feel fresher (not as many races in my legs) and I am hoping to race smarter too. Conserve, conserve, conserve and then hit them hard! I will also try to organise a team of club riders to make things a little easier this time. We might be a team of 4, including Adam Harrison and Andrew Patton, both having a good season. So, if we work together (the 4 A's), we will have a chance of getting someone on the podium.
Have a meeting before the race. Another thing to do before 9:15 am tomorrow.... I better start organising myself a bit... I will wash the bike, lube the chain and other bits, I will make my list of things to take and very importantly, I will decide on what I am going to eat and drink before and during the race.
Have a great weekend!