This probably needs some context..so here we go!
My last semi serious race was Gravel Worlds in Lincoln Nebraska 2019.
I'd trained semi seriously for it, there was more I could do but I didn't, I finished 21st out of 700 riders and thought 'I can bloody win this!, at the very least top ten and win my age group' so when I got home I ripped in to training back like I did when I was a pro, the weight came off, and the power went up!
Things were looking really good when I won the Round the Mountain race for the 4th time in Jan 2020 against an elite field, I even did it old school Gordy style...30km solo!
Then our old Mate Covid 19 hit the world and training stopped, NZ Became a hermit state for much longer than it needed too (My political views shall remain separate from this blog), I gained weight, bought a sports car, took up Tae Kwondo, Karete and Aikido ...yes 3 martial arts at once.
Roll on 17kg and 2022 and I missed riding and the feeling of being really fit, I'd been doing some shop rides with Mates but the more you suck at riding the more you hate it so I generally got more and more depressed with riding...I started training again.
It's been a long road to hoe, I've dropped heaps of weight and targetted some big races but I've really struggled to get anywhere like I was.
Southland was a big goal, not to win but to be at least able to get around in the bunch and maybe get in to a break on one stage, I'd chosen the Karapiro Flyer as my self imposed selection race.
My goal was to be strongest in the second group, I've been around long enough to know I couldn't live with the Heaney's and Torcklers of the world in the front group especially with all the climbs in the second half of the race.
Turns I out I was just hanging on in the second group so I had to do something I hate doing and let my team down and withdraw from Southland.
A few days later my first (and hopefully only) bought of Covid hit me like a sledge hammer, body aches, hot/colds, fevors, chest infection....the works.
So it turns out I was probably racing the Flyer with old Mate Corona Virus on board.....bugger.
Is that putting me off racing again?....nope.
I've been thrashing my body at this for 36 years and whilst I love winning races I've accepted there might not be any more wins in the tank.
I'm really enjoying just riding lots and getting to the events, I've made a heap of new riding Mates, guys I never normally would have ridden with when I had my race face on and was in shoot to kill mode when I was elite.
There's heaps of races on the horizon, I'm really enjoying racing and training again and I've even bought a new cycling vehicle (Blog to follow).
Will I ever win anymore races?...I don't know...watch this space