Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Maui blues

I've not had much motivation to write a blog since the worlds. The race was a bitter disapointment. I had trained harder than ever before in my life and was in really good form.
I honestly felt like I was taking it easy in the swim and swum 3 minutes quicker than last year. Onto the bike I felt in control as I rode past last years 3rd place finisher and quickest biker, Brian Smith early on. Then the first mechanical struck as my chain over shifted at the front and I had to dismount to put it back on. As well as losing places it lost my rythmn.
Trying too hard to catch up time on a descent, I crashed badly, bending my rear wheel so much it rubbed against the frame, and also damaging some tendons in my ankle. It certainly hurt.
For a 3rd time I started catching riders, getting back into the top 10. Physically I felt really strong, but again fate dealt another blow.
My chain rings must have dug into some wood in the crash and the chain refused to stay on the middle ring, where the wood was lodged. More time was spent removing this. Another over shift of the gears into the spokes at the rear and I pretty much lost the plot.
A TV camera man tried to ask me stupid questions (as I tried to wrench the chain free), which i wasn't in the mood to answer. So much pain and effort in training and now the race was fallnig apart.
My bike which only arrived 2 days before the race had seemed perfect on test rides round the local roads, but I didn't want to risk damaging it or to ride hard off road this close to the race. All these 'what ifs' kept coming up. Could I have checked these things before?
They happened! The repeated gear problems must have weakened my chain and as I tried once again to get my head straight and at least finish the race, the chain snapped. Without the tools to fix it, I was almost relieved to be able to legitamately retire, instead of finishing in a much lower position than my form deserved.
Anyway, writing this has helped with the therapy. Lot's of unfinished business next year! Instead of 6 weeks beer drinking and no training like I did this time last year, I am already keeping some training going, with a couple of short easy sessions a day, and feel in reasonable shape still.
Next season I have the once in a life time chance for an 8 month sabatical off work, sponsors are in place and if my sums are correct i can afford it. Every little thing will be analysed and nothing left to chance. Roll on 2009!