Coming to europe always requires some adaptation. This time however i had a new element deal with, winter! My second race GP lugano in switzerland was raced under grey drizzly sky's and add to that 2 degrees and it was quite a shock to my summer system. To stay remotely warm i had 4 layers of cycling cloathing and a raincoat on top off all that, and although the race was basically flat out all day, i never once entertained the idea of removing anything. As far as the race went, a large break went which we were well represented in, two strong teams chased very fast for 100km to bring it back, once back attacks started again and this time i was envolved in the moves however a swiss man in an audi decided to drive head on into the race and collided with a rider, fortunately the rider was fine however the audi was perhaps not so fortunate. A protest followed and the race was off then restarting then cancelled then finally we did restart however by this time half the riders had accepted the early mark and headed for the showers, what ever happened to swiss prescision in organisation? Upon the restart we worked hard to set up leo again, he was 7th and it was time for a defrost and shower!
Next was a day to recuperate before heading off for another race. This time the weather was more favourable and for me more enjoyable. We had hoped to set the race up for our fast man alberto loddo, however the hills were a little to much for him and he took an early exit. Fabio Tabore put in a great ride to try and steel the race from the breakaway however by the final kms it was still a large group of 60 and fabio myself and alesandro were unable to barge in on the sprinters parade. All in all a good race to get into the system, next stop my first big race of the season, Turrino Adriatico.
With 4 days now to unwind after the rush of the past month i have had plenty of time to contemplate my goals and aspirations for the season. First priority is to get settled in europe, this means resuming normal training, having a long term program, setting goals for these races, and settling into my appartment.
I have ticked of the training resumption, coach sassi is always keen to resume this structure asap. Training with a good training partner such drew at the gc camp we held recently in hobart was somthing upon reflection i realised can be very benficial. Somtimes spending all your time alone can result in you getting very settled in your own comfort zone. Unfortunately cycling is a sport which takes you completely out of your comfort zone, you are constantly being forced to go at others pace in an attempt to be the stongest rider. Having a training partner, although not to the extent of racing, gives the possibility for subtle changes in your desired pace which adds to training intensity. Although i would not often articulate to drew, there certainly were times partically when cruising between intervals that the varying pace to what i was used to was making me concentrate much harder on staying on top of the session. This is a crucial element to develope in cycling as although you can predict to a certain extent how the race will unfold, you simply never know when it will be on and off. Therefore after drew in hobart, Ivan basso happened to be doing the same climbing session as me yesterday. As we have the same coach we do similar work and when we do similar races which we have done over the past week, our sessions fall on the similar days. Again although we are basically doing the identical session, his pace again varied to mine as he was using a higher cadence and i addapted to this. Again this took me out of my comfort zone for a few intervals then my body addapted to the change and i was back feeling comfortable again. These two experiences of taking me out of my comfort zone with drew and now Ivan, i reslise its importance in my continued development in this sport.
I guess this experience does not only have to apply to sport, people often challenge themselves in all fields by spending time with those who do it a little differently. Whether it be a different way of thinking or analysing on a business front, the way a lawyar prepares a case, doctors approach to healing there patients, or the way in which a painter does his art work, putting yourself in a situation where you are not 100% comfortable will often, if pursist with it, help you to progress in your chosen field. For me i will continue to look for these situations not only in cycling but in all aspects of what i do, and in the process continue to learn little things i otherwise would not have discovered.
As for my race program and appartment, i plan to move in following this weeks race from the 11th till 16th, goal is to be a good support for our team leaders. As for races after that, i hope to learn more about shortly, for now i am simply enjoying being in an environment which is certainly far removed from what i am fortunate enough to be appart of in hobart, and with this environment trying to learn as much as i can.
Bye for now from Gavirate Italy