I vomited a little in my mouth and gasped for air, red-lining my body in a bid to hang onto the group. Yes, it was the first hour of my first race of the season.
Every year is the same. “Was racing really always this hard?!” I ask myself. “The level is really high this year”. Knowing deep down that I am not quite in shape yet, but also that racing is actually really hard and the enjoyable winter training months erase all memory of this from my mind!
Today our Rocacorba Racing team raced day one of the Grand Classics in Sabadell, Barcelona. Its renowned for being an early season fast Spanish Elite road race. Everybody hurts over the 2 days.
Today’s race was not that hilly but there was not that much flat either. It seemed to be up or down and man can these Spanish riders descend! A rider came flying off in front of me on a descent which I was able to avoid but saw me off the back on a very fast descent. I literally gave my all to get back on (vomiting slightly, again) and eventually did. Then came the notorious climb where the lead group dropped me last year. I realised late and my positioning was not good. I sprinted forwards to improve my position but this put me into the red. I made it so close to the top. My breathing went more like wheezing. My head like a tomato about to explode. And before I knew it I was dropped. Gutted.
All was not lost. We formed a grupetto and took the beautiful course home.
To be honest I’m not disappointed or surprised. I’m old enough to take racing with a pinch of salt these days. My form will come, I am in one piece and it was great to push the body for the first time this year. Here’s to a second course tomorrow!