The British Championships are a race in which I have to organize everything. I am mechanic, masseuse, driver, team manager, team and finally, Cyclist.
Logistics: I booked the flight two weeks before. I overlooked the fact that registration might be the day before. I booked the flight for the night before. The Driver was a great Triathlete and recent Euro champion Conor Murphy. The journey from East Midlands to Burnley took an extra hour than planned. An A road in England, is a town apparently... damn you AA route finder!
Accommodation: I booked online. They didn't book us in. We got a beer for the stress while they prepared a room. I wasn't too bad.
Masseuse: I got to the grand depart and had noticeably retained liquid; a mixture of pizza and beer; all we could find on the way up the night before! I don't take massage, but they're the guys in charge of food.
Mechanic: There is a big stress flying in the night before: If anything goes wrong with the bike, it's too late to correct the problem myself. The bike was okay, despite needing a wheel change from a broken spoke: Thanks to Pendragon team for helping me out there. Although your mechanic needs to practice his wheel changes!
Team Manager: Who's up the road? How much time? The team manager has an awful lot of stress... It's not just shouting orders at riders.
Team: This is the main one, one guy can't bring back all the moves alone, can't be in two places at once, can't respond to all the attacks... It's not impossible, but only the savvyest tactician can get through a race versus team relatively well. I made many mistakes: Not checking the course, not positioning myself well initially, not going with the second when I should have, listen to the other talk loser tactics and giving it too much heed.
Anyway. I hope people saw I did a good race. And next year I will do a better one! 18th in my first finish in the Elite national. And 2nd out of the guys without a team.
Sky were brilliant, it seems like a dominant performance. But had the rest organized them themselves and not handed the race over on a plate to Sky, it would have been a close run affair. Instead, they employed looser tactics; racing for a placement and doing nothing about winning. Pedragon, Rapha and a few others could have really brought the race to Sky, rather than spectating.. Oh well. I am jealous of those in the Sky/BC camp. They have one of the best set up anywhere.