I was a little surprised the morning I checked my emails and read the following from one of my fellow USA Pro Cycling Challenge teammate: “I am hoping to be able to meet and/or speak with some of the riders this summer and plan the tactics. I’d like to ride as a team to see if where our best riders fit into the GC.” Good Lord, what did I get myself into now? Riding the Tour of California was hard enough, now I have to “race” the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and there will be a GC?? Not sure I am ready for that. I am 48 years old after all, fully employed, father of six and the grandfather of 1 and 7/9th.
I was divided between answering the email with either: “Sorry, I have changed my mind and I am not doing USA Pro Cycling Challenge, please ask someone else” and “Sorry dude, we have our own team and I wish you good luck trying to keep up with us.”
Knowing better than choosing between quitting and being cocky I wrote back:
“Usually, on stage 1, the coaches will try and keep the group together until the first climb and just let the natural selection between the A group and B group take place. These two group shouldn’t change too much over the course of the week. The A group has riders who ususally have 20 minute power of about 4.4 watts/kg and one hour power of about 3.8 watts/kg.
The key to the whole CTS racing experience is for the groups to work together to get to the finish line before we get caught by the pros. In order words we mainly all work together as a team. The fireworks are on (all) the climbs (we always regroup at the top) and in the last 15 km if someone tries to create a break or if Chris Carmichael is at the front. I have never seen a break succeed, unless it is a mountain top finish.
Otherwise, at the end of a gruelling six hour + day riding as teammates, the boys are happy to cross the finish as a pack.”
I know guys like Scott F are reading this post and taking it as either psychological warfare, smack talk or the sign of a weakening climber. The truth is that this afternoon I spoke with Lelan Dains from Carmichael Training Systems, USA Pro Cycling Challenge camp manager, and he informed me that a couple of our fellow teammates had read my blog and as a result were under the impression that CTS’ Bucket List Race Experiences are full out races. Well they are not.
I feel I need to clarify my posts about the CTS Race Experiences. They truly are an opportunity for a group of like minded individuals to work together as a cohesive unit to get to the finish line before they get caught by the pros. Being part of any CTS Race Experience means we spend a whole week experiencing what it’s like to live like pros and living like pros means many things, including being part of a team. In order words, CTS Race Experiences are mainly about team work….that is until someone decides otherwise….