Dylan Humbert: Belgium racing experience
It would great to do a cliche write up about how good Belgium has been for my first time here, But aside from the worth while adventure away from home in europe, i think its only fitting to tell of the reality of my time here, and what i have come to learn is also the reality of being an amateur cyclist.
In my last write up i covered whats its like making the transition to euro racing from what we are used to in Australia. Things definently started off well and the confidence began to grow as the races went on. But how easily things can change in this sport and put you out of reach of your goals. 3 months isn’t long so a few small problems can turn into one big problem quite easily if your giving yourself a small time frame to achieve something,.. a victory.
First of all i am talking from a individuals perspective not a teams perspective as i believe our team has progressed extremely well over the past few months with a bag of podiums and 2 wins. So for myself reality starts to kick in when you start to get sick with colds ect as your body is generally run down from competing at another level of intensity than its used too.. Allot more frequently than its used too. Also climate change and rain doesn’t help. A simple cold! no problems, a few days recovery and your feeling better. Back on the bike racing you can’t quite get the most out of yourself in the races because the immune system has taken a hard knock. 200km days with 120km of them being rather strenuous don’t help the cause, But off the bike you still feel okay and continue on enjoying the experience. As a part of cycling you can never rule out a crash spoiling your day, and mine came at a rather bad time while the immune system was already down. Now the body is working triple time trying to deal with the bruising and road rash. A few more days recovery and your feeling good enough to race again. But as you push out the power for 2-3 hours you relise your operating at 70% and those 2-3 hours are quite frankly Hard as F.*%. Realistically you need 1 week off the bike completely and allot of time with a physio because your one busted unit. But realistically that doesn’t happen in a seasons racing in belgium. 1 week off is frowned upon unless your in a hospital bed. 1 day even as a racer! as they call you in the season is frowned upon.
Weeks of racing go bye and in some of them i got a glimpse of some good form or more to the point good luck, but realistically things aren’t getting easier like they did when i first started here. Now you start to realise that this is how seasons go pear shaped for professionals when one year they are kicking arse and then the next you hardly hear of them.
As weeks went on i struggled to find the form i was hoping for. The data from the races is good. and the data from my training is good, better than ever and there are signs of improved fitness. But the body isn’t good… and i was starting to really pay for jumping back into racing 2-3 times a week after my crash, as a twisted back leads to a twisted knee! and racing is becoming a struggle just to get to the finish and you have to completely empty yourself to get through..wich bye no means helps your immune system and now allong with your nasty knee pain you get a cold again.
Bye now I’m sure you get the general idea of how this 3 months is panning out for me. But its reality…. and its shit. The sport can be so shit its unbelievable. You put 110% into it and get sweet bugger all back. I suppose its a good thing all of a sudden that this isn’t my job and people arn’t expecting much from me. I have experienced the negative side of cycling a few times already but I’m not angry, because I’m experiencing real cycling. How it really is and how reality can be really shit for a professional.
With 4 more races left of the trip it would be safe to say I’m slightly over it, time has flown bye but left a bitter taste in my mouth. Guaranteed i will go out tomorrow and give it 100% but its not as fun when 100% is really 70% not even close to what your capable of and there are a handful of things setting you back.
Im rather looking forward to a week off when i return home so the body can recover properly and hopefully still find some gains from racing here in belgium, sorry for the negativity in this write up but this is how it is. Someone has to win and someone has to lose.
On the brighter side some team mates have had a stella run with everything going well and bagging themselves well deserved wins and podiums in which i can proudly say i contributed too on the day.
i look forward to returning next year with god helping me some better dam luck, as unfortunately the list of goals isn’t ticked off
6 years ago / No Comments