That’s right, the first weekend of July means only one thing to cycling fans world ’round: the Tour of Austria!
I must be back racing since my thumbs are again getting their full workout with a Blackberry pecked blog post here and now – my first since May. After a restful June where I spent the first eight days enjoying the cumulative lactic acid buildup drain from my legs, I find myself again in Austria for the Tour thereof.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, it’s said, and I’m now 51 weeks removed from the 2009 Tour of Austria. I didn’t have a great race there last year, in fact if I may be so frank, relatively speaking I did not enjoy it. But that’s thanks to more visits to the pavement than are generally welcome to a racer in addition to poor weather throughout the eight-day race. Yet as another saying goes, a bad day (or week+1day) on the bike is better than a good day at work probably holds true here, even if being on my bike IS a day at work for me.
After a spin around the start town today, my spirits are sky high. That’s thanks in large part to the sun shining brightly, casting a warm glow across the entire country; or even greater part in thanks to the virtually brand new bike I had the privilege of pedaling around. We’re spoiled on the Cervelo TestTeam with -among other things – a mint S3, speedy and aero Zipps, a very smart Joule from PowerTap, awesomely stiff bars from 3T, a unique and very cool crank and BB from Rotor, a buttery smooth drivetrain from SRAM, and simplistic yet sublime pedals from Speedplay. Riding around on my race bike just now with an entirely new set of components since the brutality of the Giro, amidst the Austrian Alps borders on surreal.
Normally I’d say pinch me, but having done this race just 51 weeks ago, I know just how rugged the terrain can be and how rapidly the recently TdF-snubbed riders with a chip on their shoulders’ want to race – namely supa’fast! In any event bring on the second part of the season!
…and if coverage of the Tour of Austria is slower than average, you can always switch over to that other race going on somewhere in Holland or France or whatever.