Quebec & Montreal
Home, well maybe not quite home but back in Girona which probably slots in around #3 in terms of places I call home in terms of homeyness but its a lot closer than Canada. 9 weeks of living out of a suitcase has me appreciating the small things again like a set of draws, my guitar and not wearing the same 5 t-shirts in sequence. I feel like I've hardly been here this year but dont think that I've missed a lot, Autumn is definitely in the air - it's still beautiful weather but not so hot and the days not too long. It's actually a really nice time to be here.
After tour of colorado I returned to Boulder and stayed with the family of my old team mate (the Eckmans) for a few nights and then on to the Bellians for the week and half before Canada. I had an awesome time there - hanging out with a family again was really cool, 2 young kids crazy about cycling and Christine and Ken (mum and dad) also passionate about bikes and everything else that goes with living in Boulder. After about 2 minutes there it felt like I'd lived there for the last few years so thanks a lot guys for an awesome stay, next stop was on to Canada.
I'd never been to Canada and I'm still not 100% that I went to Canada - everyone spoke French and when they tried to speak English the majority of them sounded like yogi bear! French Canada was a very cool place and really nice friendly people but it was definitely strange seeing such an insulated bubble of France in the middle of north America.
Qp Quebec was the first of the races up there, I didnt finish, no real excuses it was just to hard for too long. I really couldn't handle all the jumps and sprints in the racing. It was my first one day race for just on a year and it was a whole new animal. With so many corners and obstacles getting to the front was my biggest issue. I basically stayed in the last 20 riders trying to move up the whole day and then getting whipped when the elastic stretched in the peleton. I exploded one lap to go (16 lap race), it's strange I felt really good and couldn't work out how I just got so spanked, a big part of it was being at altitude for the 9 weeks prior. Ok altitude makes you better at some things but because of the lack of oxygen your muscles loose the high end sprint because you just cant hit big watts up there. Every time we had to sprint in the race I got kicked into the hurt locker.
Unfazed it was on to Montreal 2 days later. A lot better course for me and a lot better race. I tried to shake it up early but just found myself in this stupid solo break at the start of a 210km pro tour race so I put an end to that quickly and waited for the finish. I tried again with 3 laps to go but got shut down quickly and then eventually tailed off in this huge cross wind section coming on to the last lap, again the acceleration was just to quick for me but even after one race at sea level I could feel the difference, nice races but I think they are 2 of the hardest days of racing I have had. In a strange way I had a lot of fun in them but need to get a bit more distance in the legs. Our main man Tony G pulled a top ten for the team so ka pai brother.
Two pretty average results meant I was off the NZ worlds team which I can't complain too much about, its 260km - i get tired driving my car that far - it's going to be another year before I can race it, I hope the boys do NZ proud next Sunday.
So things are pretty quiet back here. My flatmate is away I had a chance to catch up with some of the Aussies and Kiwis in town but now everyones buggered off to worlds and other races around the place so I'm just pottering around listening to some NZ music and trying not to think too much about the Summer bbqs back home - the end is near and that thought alone seems to crack a lot of people but if I can keep the gas on like this for the last few weeks of the year it will be all G in the H. I'm currently battling with visa applications for China. When you are a Kiwi with an english passport applying for a Chinese visa from Spain - shit gets tricky.
oh yea, try a website called grooveshark.com, its pretty tight for listening to some good tunes if you cant get pandora.