All done with Tirreno-Adriatico now. It was really quite nice to be able to come and do the race. I had wanted to hook up with the guys since I missed a lot of the team camp in Girona. It was special for me to be invited and I appreciated the opportunity to lend support to the Classics Team. It also didn’t hurt that the weather wouldn’t be too good in Girona while I would be away as the training there would not compare to going at race pace in Italy.
I’m not a big talker during the races but every once in awhile I feel the need. Sometimes it’s just small talk, other times it’s trash talk, and sometimes its just cool to catch up with guys you’ve enjoyed riding and racing with in the past. I was chatting with my former teammate Chris Sutton (Team Sky) at one point during the race and he told me that he has his personal hair stylist coming to Girona to help him with things. What? Now this is a chat I’m intrigued by. Interestingly, he explained to me with quite a great level of detail about just how well she cuts his hair. Of course I’m certain that he’s yanking my chain but the dude is so serious and you just can’t ad lib some of these details that I realize soon enough that he’s actually telling the truth. He goes on and on about how she has this special ability to get his hair just the way he likes it. I mean this is pure peloton gold. He lets me know that she even uses these special thinning scissors on the top of his head and how much he just loves those scissors. Special thinning scissors! What is he a sheep? I’m in the pro peloton for ten years plus and this chat is just priceless. Now I’m not exactly sure how he talked her into coming to Spain to wait for his hair to grow between cuts but I want more information on this matter and have requested a formal interview with the stylist. I’ll keep you posted on that but I have to say I’m more than a little intrigued.
The race itself had some really long days, three stages over 200K. Those were some major kilometers that we were covering. One stage was over 7 hours in the saddle and I would usually be pretty flat with hunger pains and miserable on a day like that but my body seemed to be able to handle the distance quite well, which is good and surprising with how few race days I’ve done so far this year. I believe my diet is working well and the day-to-day recovery seems very good too. I have both my race energy and my ability to recover and go back out the next day feeling ready. Naturally this is quite satisfying. Now I just need to work on some high intensity and I should be in decent shape.
It was truly fun to be with the Classics Team and for me to change it up a bit as I don’t typically race with these guys. It was great to see Tyler have the glory on Stage 2. This portion of our team is, well, a bit different and you have to be ‘a bit different’ to ride the races that they do. Thor knew I was somewhat of an outsider to this ‘band of brothers’ so he made sure that I understood, “what happens on the Classics Team, stays with the Classics Team.” They are truly a good group of guys, funny and a bit strange, but in a fun way if that makes any sense. After Tirreno I actually wanted to join them in their upcoming battle at Milan-San Remo but they will have a full team of experienced vets for that race and I believe they can pull off the win.
One night at dinner there was a large television in the dining room and I have to say it was pretty shocking to see the images coming out of Japan. It was difficult to eat watching that coverage. It’s sometimes hard to appreciate just how fortunate so many of us are until a tragedy like that wakes us up. I hope the worst is over for those suffering but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Tragic visions like those in Japan make me want to be around my family and to hug my kids, which is where I’m heading now.
I’m writing this at the airport waiting to catch my flight home. Airport time can be a great time to slow down and reflect. I’m enjoying my thoughts on the past week, cracking a wide smile over visions of my teammates, reflecting on the fan support I receive from all of you, but every now and then my mind seems to uncontrollably wander back to a peloton chat and the unknown virtues of having a traveling hair stylist. I’m getting that damn interview, and after seeing the thinning scissors for myself, my first question to this already legendary stylist is going to be, ‘what do you think you can do with the DZ mop?’