It's just a cough...it's just a cold...it's just allergies...or just a sinus infection. Ugh.
I think I've had the same bug ever since Nature Valley. I'm going to the Belgian doctor tomorrow to hopefully get things worked out, as I'm supposed to start the Tour of Antwerp here on Thursday. Nothing like 5 stages of flat long cobbled goodness--should but quite a change of pace from the hilly to mountainous stage races yet so far.
So in the meantime, I kind of feel like junk. I did a kermesse yesterday, which by the way, is really cool! It's just a local Belgian race is called. But it's a lot different than a usual P/1/2 road race in the USA. I'd say it's harder, more selective, and longer.
Our kermesse was 120 km long, 18 circuits of 6 or 7 km each. I had 3 teammates in the race, Boyd, Holloway, and Beamer. All three managed to somehow crash on the first lap in a hairy corner--get this--with no one but my three teammates going down. Luckily all three were okay. So only Holloway was good to ride after the crash, so it was just me and him in the field. A couple of attacks went on lap 3 and I followed, then eventually I ended up bridging solo to a breakaway up the road of 2 Lithuanian guys. It was hard up there, and when they started attacking me after my bridge effort, I fell back to what was left of the field. Holloway attacked after that, getting away with 5 other guys and motoring from the field. A chase group formed of 8 guys, and I made the chase group.
In other words, a race that started with 60 guys was already down to 16 racers left. Like the hardest NRC crits I've done, only this is a local race.
At this point my back started spazing out and I was just hanging onto the chase as best I could. I wanted to be there for Holloway if things got reshuffled. Unfortunately, he was dropped from the breakaway at km 60 or so. I rode with the chase group one more lap until my rear wheel kind of exploded on me, rubbing the rear brake pads. I stopped, fixed the brake and opened the quick release to get the damaged wheel through, and my back did the seizing up thing. Haven't had that happen for quite some time, so yeah, it sucked. After some stretching things were back to good. I changed my bike position a bit so it doesn't happen again I hope.
Time to rest up, shake this damn sinus thing, and finally get some racing legs. I've been struggling ever since June, and it's about time things got back on the fast track.
And congrats to my teammates Sheldon Deeny and Chad Beyer, who both got top 10's on yesterdays stage in the Tour Alsace and Tour Namuir, respectively.