Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wind, cobbles, and lessons in patience

Windy day today. I guess that is kind of normal here though, getting to enjoy the wind somewhat though, which could be considered a little odd. Talked to Bernard this morning before he left with one team for IWT (UCI 1.2 - big boy race) and got the word that 4 hours "easy; not over 200W" was in order for the day. I learned a valuable lesson in patience yesterday, from Bernard and the Docs: North American cyclists lack patience. At home, everyone wants results yesterday. Lose 5 pounds a week, get fit fast, sound familiar? Here, they understand that there is no substitute for time and miles. Not hard miles, easy miles. As my test showed, and as 98% of all cyclists coming to the Cycling Center from abroad, we lack the base. Many of us have good top end, and the ability to hold our threshold and above for good periods of time, but have a small base. This is well known to Bernard and the Docs, this is why he runs his program as a development program. As they say, it takes about 3 years to start to see you potential as a rider, it takes that much time to be able to figure out what kind of rider you are. You really need that base. This is why most 1st and 2nd year riders here do mostly long rides and race once a week. You need the training time. It is hard to train through a kermesse. You need to recover, its not like a crit, its still a 3 hour race (~130km). You can see his results too, the guys who started off like myself or others here for the first time, and are now here for the 3rd time (usually 2nd full season) are strong as the Euros. They race mostly the UCI races, and get results. That is development. Not like TIAA-CREF, buying "development", but bringing the riders up. Teaching them and training them. That impresses me, as Bernard says, "you but in the flesh, I meet it and put in some of my own". The man has a very good ability to motivate you, I feel as though I have no problem doing anything asked of me, as I know it will make me a better cyclist. The Center will change a lot next year, I can't reveal too much yet (contracts are being signed and many other details to be ironed out still) but the idea is that He wants the Center to become a Professional Continental team within 3 years. But, all with riders he brings up. Basically, he would still run part of the the program the same, acting as a feeder program. And the pro team will act as a feeder program to a particular Pro Tour team. Pretty cool eh?

Enough on the Center, time for me time. Got up ate my usual breakie of coffee, toast, yogurt with muselli, and some fruit. Wished good luck to the boys off to IWT, saw the van with the A team off to go recon the route for Omloop Het Volk (UCI 1.1 - really big boys race) and then suited up, plugged in and hit the road. Decided on the white 110km route. New roads, and some more cobbles and another Tour of Flander's cobbled climb. Legs felt pretty lead filled for the first hour or so, but began to come around after that. Even got far enough away from home today that the terrain changed from flat windy to rolling windy. Haven't seen many hills for a while, but felt good. Kept my ego in check, and kept it under the requested 200W. Stupid Power Tap is going again though, can't read any numbers on the screen again. Making it a little more difficult to maintain a certain wattage goal. Or see time, or anything really. Oh well. Did the mandatory bakery stop, took Vicky's advice and went for the Rijcetart. Incredible. Man, basically this pudding filled pie. Continued on my route, winding through fields and towns, arriving home after a good 4.5 hours. Quick lunch and some tea, nap time, coffee and here we are. Such is the life. Time for dinner soon, then some more relaxing time, bed, wash, repeat. Off to the grocery store tomorrow morning, and the real good bakery. Gonna get some supplies to make a huge bunch of pesto sauce, and stuff to make some homemade energy bars and biscotti. Cause thats how I roll. Ciao

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