Today was a rather subdued one for me. I did more bike work - ugh - then headed out for a training ride to see the course so i could watch the lines the u-23 and jr riders took. I made it as far as the elevator on my floor before turning back to the room. I forgot that i am in belgium - the race will be on TV with NO commercials! I'll be able to see all the lines perfectly, complete with commentary. After watching Danny Summerhill sprint it out for 2nd place in the jr men, I was so completely motivated to go training.
He was in 2nd position for the first lap chasing down an italian rider until they were caught at the end of the lap. Eventually 6 guys got a gap on the field. Once the pace went up, there were 5. On one of the three technical dropoffs, danny crashed. My heart sank! Luckily it was he who was racing and his levelheadedness got him back up to the leaders in no time.
Soon after, one of the guys attacked and then there were 4 - 5th was slightly gapped. Going into the last mud hairpin turn onto the pavement finish, danny was in 4th (btw, he spent most of the race in 5th spot.) But he really turned it on in that finishing straight passing all but one of them! As he crossed the finish line, he threw his fist in the air to signify USA's infiltration in the Euro dominant sport (this is according to what he told me at dinner.)
As i sat next to him at dinner, which is how i found out about the significance of the fist, he also told me something i found rather interesting. Going into the race, he thought a top five would be cool. Then when he was in the group of five, he still thought, "I'd be happy with a top 5." But in only in that last finishing straight did his thought change. His next thought was, "Hey, i could get a medal!" If he only would have thought, "Hey i could win this darn thing" maybe he would have. We will never know. Neither will he - something he admits he will ponder for a bit.
His second place, though, was good enough to score us all free champagne tonight! I only had a spoonful (just in case Coach is reading.)
Dinner was a repeat of yesterday. Except this time i remembered to bring my own spices. My friend ronnie sent me ground habaneros that he grew and dried himself. They are incredibly tasty AND hot! Yum.
Now i must get back to stretching, reading, drinking, visualizing.
THanks for all your emails, thoughts and blog comments wishing me good luck for the race tomorrow. I am finally getting really excited and motivated to FEEL THE PAIN!!