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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Love letters from Holland

I just spent a hideous amount of money on my hair. Don't ask how much cause I'm not telling.

So, In two days time I will be in St. Wendal, Germany, with the rest of the Canadian Team and having my first look at the World Championships course. Exciting times; I can feel the tension building towards the culmination of my mission here. The weather has taken a turn for the colder here, so we may be in for some ice and snow in Germany but that might actually be a welcome change after all the muck that I've had to endure so far. Two more races to tell you about from this past weekend-

22 January, Heerlen, Nederlands.
Another day in the mud. Whee. I knew that this would be a tough day after checking the course because once again, rain had succeeded in turning the circuit into a quagmire. Not super deep, but nowhere was it firm enough to be able to roll, always forcing the bike. Three runups today including a really long stair section that was spaced almost too far apart for my long legs. At least it was warm, but we all froze in a 5 minute hail and rain shower before the gun. Got a good starting spot, but my head was somewhere else and I lost a lot of spots before the end of the pavement. I felt like I was riding the flat muddy corners well today, but not as fast as Groenendaal who lapped me with I think 2 laps to go for me. He was shortly followed by Wellens who proceeded to demonstrate how one is really supposed to ride. In all, not my best day, but pretty OK. I ended up 22nd or so and finished in the money.

23 January, Hoogerheide World Cup, Netherlands
Another warm day, except this time the course is lightning fast hardpack with lots of fast pavement sections. Good thing cause my legs are feeling pretty worked from the day before. I was getting very good vibes from my recon laps, and my warmup went really well so I was looking for a good ride, except for some unkown reason the start time was moved up by 15 minutes and I barely made it in time. At least I didn't miss the gun, but I missed my call up position somewhere in mid field and had to start from the back of 64 guys. That was a death sentence because there was almost no way to move up given how fast the course was. I moved up OK anyhow, and managed to get into a little group before I started to get popped off the back each time up the long pavement climb. I was able to come back a few times through the grassy technical sections, but ultimately I couldn't hang on. Then with a lap and a half to go I hooked my arm on a post and went down hard. That kinda took the wind out of my sails and I had to swap bikes. Got caught by a 5 man group cause of that and got dusted up the hill to the line. The upshot of this misadventure was that I actually managed to make it onto the lead lap (along with 48 other guys), and I think that the form will be there for St Wendal.

In other news, I'm going to be coming home to Ottawa early. I'll be back in one week from today, then I have a little time to recuperate before bolting down to South Carolina in mid-Feb to getr down to some serious training again. The racing scene dies down here after Worlds, and my training quality will be much higher in SC than here on my own.

Next report form St Wendal!
Thanks again,


Blogger bobwebber said...

Hey Greg, great job. How would you like to be racing in the -30 degree temps here. At least there is no mud!! Great to see your posts and hope you are making the most of & enjoying your experiences. Keeping an eye on your placings here and we are all cheering for you. Keep up the great work and best of luck in St. Wendel. Hope to talk with you during your brief trip home!! Go GREG!!!!

1/25/2005 09:00:00 PM

Blogger Rob said...

Hey Greg, I just wanted to say good luck in Germany and to take it easy on Nys and not beat him too badly. I can't believe you're over there now duking it out with the best of them but it's really cool. I can't wait to hear the stories. I hope I get to hear them sometime soon, but I don't know when I'll be back in Ottawa. I'm in Burlington right now on my work term (I passed 1A, Frosh 15 only affected my marks, not weight), but hopefully I'll manage to show up at some race or crit sometime and get to hear about it.

I'll try to listen or read all about it live on cyclingnews, if they have the coverage.

Good luck, and kick ass.
Robert Gustavsson

1/26/2005 01:55:00 AM

Blogger Matt Patterson said...

damn g, that is dope. Kick some ass at worlds.

flys guys represent

1/27/2005 09:44:00 PM

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