“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.”
How long is this week taking to get through. It feels like purgatory. Hardly a moment of my waking day goes past without me thinking about this bloody race in Portsmouth on Sunday. I’ve already been through about a thousand scenarios by which I’ll either win the stupid thing or at the very least get the points I need to step up to 3rd Cat next season… none, I’m sure, will transpire in reality.
It’s not healthy. Just opening the page for the Omega Points Chaser Circuits on the British Cycling website yesterday provoked a minor wave of nausea, so nervous have I become regarding the outcome.
The fact that you, the reader, plus all my team mates and a fair few of my friends know what’s at stake is hardly easing the tension. I accept that I’ve created a rod for my own back here, being so public about this cycle racing lark and my ever-changing hopes and fears for it throughout the season. But for someone used to keeping his thoughts and feelings under wraps it’s actually been quite therapeutic to reveal them… and seeing in print how ludicrous most of them are has certainly helped me to take myself a little less seriously.
Another big plus point is that the fear of public failure has worked wonders in getting me – a naturally lazy bastard – out and training, to the extent that I have regained a decent degree of fitness despite numerous professional and social distractions. My last proper session of speed work is at Preston Park velodrome tonight, although I’ll be keeping the old legs turning until Sunday with a couple of steady rides in the coming days.
Tech-wise, I’m leaving no stone unturned, swapping in my deep section Pro-Lites from the Colnago to give the Ribble racer a bit of extra top-end help. To be honest, if the ‘nago had a 53/39 instead of a compact chainset I’d have gone the whole hog and used it regardless of the obvious risk of damage; that’s how important this gig has become to me.
The early weather forecast looks decent, which is a good thing. After all, the desperation for varying amounts of points (why else would we be traipsing out there?) means this is one event that’s unlikely to see a drop-off in entrants due to inclement weather. And I, for one, would prefer dry tarmac to race on.
Still, no point in speculating any more, it’s already causing me to feel a little light-headed.
All will be revealed once the race is run. Wish me luck…