After Langkawi I made my way back to Girona. I had been gone a long time, more than eight months. The family would be meeting up with me in 10 days. I needed every one of those days to get things in order. Just a bunch of little things, so that I can maximize the small apartment space we live in while in Girona.
The car was dead and needed a registration sticker. One of the directors towed it to the shop for me, so at least that wasn’t so hard. There is no room to store unneeded things so I go through everything and get rid of the trash. Those evenings also allowed me to get caught up on Justified, The Walking Dead and I started Caprica. I downloaded way too many comics from Comixology, and I thought TV episodes were getting expensive.
Traveling all over the world I thought I still had my Verizon Unlimited Global Plan but I guess they just took those away. I finally got a message telling me what my bill was and that I should turn data off. I would’ve preferred a message that they changed my contract, but I guess they make the rules not me. Verizon did manage to unlock the phone so I put a Spanish sim chip in it, and dropped a whopping 50 euro on it.
I spent a lot of time training with Michel Kreder. We were watching sporting events on TV and going out to eat a lot, all of which made me feel like a regular dude. Ten days in and the family finally arrived. They were super excited to see me and to reconnect in Spain, our second home. The boys reconnected with all of their Spain toys and there were smiles all around. They’ve all been here a few weeks now and I’m still not sure they are over the jet lag.
Ok so now I’m off to the Criterium International and we have to get to Corsica. Well the best way is a taxi from Girona to Marseilles and spend the night and then a direct flight to the island in the morning. We got to Marseilles at 11:30 at night and were ready for bed after a 4 hour taxi ride. We went to check in and there was some confusion. I guess we were at the wrong hotel. Our taxi was gone so we had to call two regular taxi’s and get to the right hotel. This took some time and I did not get in bed until about 1:30.
Caught the morning flight and went on to Corsica. We pre-rode the finishing climb and the TT circuit. I was riding my new P5. The family brought it over with them from California and it is a pretty sweet machine. Usually at this race they have a time change with the double stage being on that day, this makes for a very early wake up. After close to probably 100 years someone figured they should have the double day first and then the single road stage on the day of the time change, which made things much better.
The first morning stage was intense and required a lot of focus. Myself, as well as the rest of the team (except for Nathan Haas) got caught in a split and never made it back. This was not good and we all felt pretty badly about it. To make matters worse Nathan was sprinting for the win and crashed. Really not a good stage for us at all.
Next up was the ITT. But 7km is more like a prologue. This would be my first time racing on the new P5. It is a very fast bike and I finished only 2 seconds down on the win. The short distance is a little difficult for me, but the bike worked really well on the short course. I can’t wait for a race with some distance.
Just one more road stage to go and Cadel was in the leader’s jersey. This stage was a very hard, hilly, twisty course. (It will be very interesting to see what roads they decide to use for the Tour start next year.) Talansky jumped in the break. We were eager to show that we were in the race after the previous day’s mistakes. Unfortunately Talansky felt a bit sick and got dropped before they made it to the climb, but a solid effort nonetheless. I tried to stay with the leaders up the climb as long as I could but popped off at some point. But I didn’t have my usual climbing implosion and was able to keep pushing. I still lost 3 minutes, but for me that too was a pretty solid effort.
Now the hard stuff. Ride back down the mountain to a camper, hit a cold shower, and haul ass to the airport on the other side of the town. There is not a stretch of straight road the whole way to the airport and it took about two hours of rally car type driving. We had to stop at one point when Nathan tapped out. It was easily one of the worst car rides ever. Two planes and a taxi and we are all back in Girona. I got home around 2am and was pleasantly surprised to find the family sleeping. Next up GP Indurain and then onto Circuit de la Sarthe.