In the build up to any series of events, or race, or during any phase of training there are some real dead spots where nothing seems to be going well. that’s the sum of my limited experience in building form. i went out riding with steve on sunday. this was after a really heavy friday ride, 30 hilly miles (2000ft or so) at a 22mph average speed; this took more of a toll than i thought. the next day i planned to spin my legs out a bit on the turbo, which i did, but made a fatal error by watching omloop het neuwsblad at the same time, and my enthusiasm for the race ended up with me riding at pace for ten minutes whilst i chased down both juan antonio flecha and sebastian langeveld’s ill-fated escape, before destroying them both with my ferocious sprint to add to my illustrious palmares. so anyway, i went out riding with steve on the sunday morning and my legs felt flat, devoid of feeling, and i had a noticeable energy deficit. it was all i could do to drag myself around the 40 mile loop (again hilly, always hilly, every time, up monstrous hills, no shame or self-awareness, just hills) in his spritely, pedal-dancing wake. it was very tough. i regret destroying him and kieran two weeks prior. steve is now en forme, and thus i will consider my riding strategy when we next go out. it might even be time for a spot of half-wheeling. (i joke).
i’m hoping to ride through it in the next few days – i have the first hardriders event of the season on sunday, and it’s an absolute stinker with a horrifically strong field; lots of old-school testers ready to suffer and gurn their way to the finish. it is a great part of the season though, the weather is often harsh and you really ride into form, i have races for the next 5 weekends or so. alongside this, the pro peloton has hit the spring classics which culminate in paris-roubaix in 8 weeks time. it’s cobbled mayhem, with evil climbs and crazed belgians shouting from the sidelines. brilliant. het volk was a great primer, watching flecha bridge across to langeveld was pretty awe-inspiring. here’s his escape, after a typical ‘chute’ – the cobbles bite. he missed the win by an eyelash, which is fair enough, langeveld rode a great race.