I originally wrote this post yesterday but my email app successfully destroyed it without a trace, maybe it was for the best as I was still in a post race daze and I'm sure I'll put a more positive spin on things after a good day back training today.
So Trentino was a bloody hard four day race, every grippy aspect of a stage boiled down so that every kilometer was tough and a chance to win or lose time, no transitional stages or recovery sections, just hard roads where drafting was at a minimum. First up was a team time trial, we had a good team for it and had hoped to at least take a podium. We ended up 5th, a few seconds off it so in that regard it was a disappointment but I felt we rode technically well. The average speed was somewhere around 55kph and for a guy like me who only weighs 3kgs more than that, the best I could hope for is to keep the speed high and not crash the rest of the boys; so in that regard it was a success...no hero turns but I did what I could!
From there we had 3 mountain stages. I was really surprised by how fast we climbed, Trentino isn’t a world tour race but I had some of my biggest numbers on the climbs for a long time and there was still 15-20 guys up there racing. It seems that either every Italian climber peaks for this race or there is a huge amount of undiscovered talent still riding at the Pro-Conti level. Results wise, I didn’t go super but I took a lot of good from the week. I came here as a last tune up for the Giro and I got my chances too; Ivan was feeling shit from the big training camp at altitude which is pretty normal (I felt it a bit but not too much) so when he started suffering on the first mountain stage he gave me the all clear to go ahead.
Trentino has quickly become one of my favorite races on the calendar. There was a moment when I woke up on the last stage of the race and looked at the profile, Mt Bondone was on the cards, one of the longest, hardest and most beautiful climbs in cycling. On the approach we passed through Val di Sol, the spot of my first visit to Europe back in 2008 for the world junior mountain bike champs (won by my team mate Sagan). After that race, I took the mountain bike on a few soul searching rides around the roads of Val di Sol and decided right at that moment that I wanted to start racing on the road, climb through the dolomites etc. So on the morning of the last stage it occurred to me that this is what I had hoped to do 6 years ago when I made the call to take up the skinny tires! I was super motivated for the stage but had a bad moment half way up and lost the group, I came right and held them for a bit but in the end I was really gutted how the day had worked out.
I ended up 12th overall which seemed pretty disappointing, I had high hopes for a top 8 or a stage result or something but just didn’t have it. I still got what I came here to do; some really good intensity as part of my final tune up for the Giro. However there has been a slight change of plan, well actually a pretty massive change of plan...Instead of the Giro, I'm now actually off to California! Although I was pumped to have another crack at the Giro, I'm really stoked to be heading back to California, I think it does make a lot more sense. Better weather, no allergies, we need a GC rider there and I get to "parlo some inglese"! After this it will be back to Europe for the Dauphine and I'll take the rest of the year from there.
So I've had my 3 days easy post race...I needed them too! Took a great 4-2 win over AC Milan on fifa ( of course I'm Barcelona), rode with friends, BBQ with friends and just generally got my head ready to go back at it. I’m feeling optimistic about my trip to America, I think taking the form I had planned for the Giro into a smaller race like Cali will hopefully give me the chance to do something good.I guess we will find out...