This week the cycling world has all eyes on Copenhagen, host to the 2011 World Championships. I found out a couple weeks ago that I would be going to represent Canada in the U23 time trial which took place on Monday. It was pretty exciting to get that chance as a first year U23, and quite the experience to spend the week with the best pros in the world.
Having not focused on time trials as much this year, the 2 weeks leading up to the event were devoted entirely to that. I’ve worked a lot on climbing this year, and can see it paying off – but the Worlds course had all of about 4 meters of elevation gain, so it was time to get quick on the flats yet again. Preparation went fairly well, and I was looking forward to a big ride.
Pre-riding the course on Sunday, it seemed like it would be extremely fast – with 4 or 5 lane boulevards for most of the course, but also a slightly tricky last 2kms featuring some cobbles and some tight corners. It was clear the deciding factor would be the wind, which was forecast at a fairly strong 30km/h.
Finally the time came – I was early to go, which was actually a little nice not to have to wait around all afternoon. I got in a really good warm-up and made my way to the starting ramp for my 1:06 start time. 35.2kms of agony awaited me as I sat in the start house, listening for that final beep to send me on my way.
For those of you who have followed my career over the last year – I’m very pleased to announce that things went much better than last year’s World Junior TT Championships. There were no hospital trips, ruptured muscles, broken noses, or any of the like. Unfortunately, that’s about where the positive ends. My legs didn’t seem to have it right from the start, and I really struggled to control my bike in the strong winds. I felt like a little bird being thrashed around in a hurricane, while the bigger and more powerful guys were cruising along like airplanes. I was fighting just to keep my bike underneath me at times, and lost my focus on making it go as fast as possible. I ended up with a pretty disappointing finish, but sometimes it just isn’t there for you.
Although I’m not pleased with how things unfolded, I’m really glad I went. Even if I had put in a great ride, I would still have a long way to go before I’m where I want to be. That’s the reason the CCA sent me – to see the level and plan for the future. I have 3 more years of U23 World Championships, and I guarantee I’ll be better prepared in the years to come. This is going to be a big motivator for me. It’s been a long year with many lessons learned, and now it’s time to take those lessons and put them to good use. I want to thank everyone for their notes of encouragement and support – they mean a lot.
For now, I’ve got a few races left in the year – but I’m starting to get into a bit of recovery mode from this season, and already planning a really big winter. Time to go hammer out some frustration.