Another surpize this morning! No racing! These organisers sure do know how to keep us guessing! Luckily I had 2 trial runs at these so called "rest days" already in this giro so I had today nailed. I felt pretty good after rest day 1, worse thand the day before after rest day 2 so today I was going to combine the 2 and all things being equal tomorrow I will wake up with a body capable of racing 210km in sub arctic temperatures deep into the dolomites!
So the best parts I have taken from each rest day!
- firstly do all you can to limit the work for the staff. It lights up there little faces when you do even the smallest thing that they don't have to do everyday. An example of a few of my gestures today was carrying my own suitcase down to the truck this morning. Helping pack the teams breakfast supplies into the breaky esky which is there for us every morning. Carried my wash bag along to fabio's room so he did not have to make a special trip up a flood to my room. Due to the weather we were on home trainers so when I finished I unhitched my bike and carried it and the trainer back to the truck. The mechanics nearly choked on there expresso's when the saw me lugging the load accross the parking lot and I was certainly greeted them with many "grane cameron" "numero uno" as I had just save someone else this tedious task. After I found one of our mechanics who loves rugby. I see him watching matches privately on his I phone all the time so I was certain he would love to have a chat about it. As you can imagine there not much sport spoken about other than cycling within an italian cycling team, they are deeply passionate about there sport and live it an breathe it. For this reason I knew merino would love a good chat about his passion so was great to share some stories with him from my experience with the ruby boys at the AIS and when I was a passionate one eyed brumbies fan. Also told him about john eels being our motivator at the olympics and great stories he shared. Also what we both agreed on is that one of the beauties of ruby is that is about the team, not any single player, if all parts don't back each other up then its game over. This is one area that it really parallels cycling and one of the reasons I too have a huge amount of respect for the game. So they were my little contributions and while they we're small at least I saw some smiles on our legendary staffs faces so I am pleased I did it.
So from my 2 rest days I have come to the following conclusions.
- don't sleep all day as you will never sleep that night, sleep in aslong as possible but keep the body clock as regular as possible.
- go for a ride, more to just sweat and not give your body a chance to switch of that fraction more than you won't it to, you will pay for it tomorrow! For me my weapon of choice is the home trainer as I can rug up, spin a high cadence in a light gear, sweat up a storm and its all done in 45'-1hr depending on how I feel.
- enjoy a breaky without complex carbs, I sure don't order the eggs benedict but a morning without pasta and to much bread seems to be appreciated by my digestive system. I prefer to have to stock up on my fruit and yogurt which are things that I often don't have space for when filling the tank for a 6+ hour slog in the saddle. From lunch resume eating like its a day before a one day classic so a nice big bowl of pasta. This forms your reserves for the coming days so its important to jam it in!
- speak to your mates on the phone. My best mate Bom has been my debrief man today and its amazing how nice it is to talk about what's going on in the real world. Bom has been instrumental in my life. It was bomma who suggested I have a crack at pro cycling, he thought It be an interesting exercise and also has always loved seeing me suffer as much as I have enjoyed making him suffer! We won U23 worlds together in 2003 and ever since have been thick as thieves. I wrote a blog about him around this time in 2010 from memory when he came to visit me post the giro in 2010 so if interested look it up. Boms and absolute legend in every sense of the word.
- finally only do what you absolutely need to do. There are millions of thing you could do, waste time on the net, face book, twitter, taking photos of the surrounds. Do a few to many of these things and there goes 3-4hrs of your day and all of a sudden your at dinner and you have not relaxed on the only day you had to do it.
So that's the things I have learnt so far and will certainly report back tomorrow and see how constructive my tweaking of my recovery day program has been.
Finally we all know the news that broke today. Its sad it came out on a day were there was no racing as by this afternoon there would have a been a story of champion winning todays giro stage to report. Alas the press had a monopoly today but I was pleased that in reality the story got as limited coverage as possible. As an athlete within the peleton I am convinced that as whole the riders are racing by natural means. I have been so encouraged this year upon returning to the world tour as number particularly on power meters don't lie. I have not witnessed anything in the races where I have been at the front this season that would indicate anything is suspect. Also when the pace is fiece I have found myself studying my power meter saying this can't continue for much longer and sure enough everytime its been the case. I believe in the sport and most importantly I believe that if you do the work, have the engine, and have the tallent, you will get the success's you deserve and for me that's all we could ever ask for. Its up to us as athletes to put in the hard yards and see how good we can be. In the past form what I have read doping dictated the sport. Well while we have had the odd relatively insignificant positive result in the past few years doping is definitely not dictating the course of the sport and that's for me what has made cycling so beautiful, it truly is man v's man and team v's team. The small portion that will no doubt continue to test the boundaries will remain this, a small part and a very insignificant part of the sport as quite simply the riders, teams, and organisers wont tolerate in anyway shape or form, this type of behaviour. The reactions to todays events were indicative of this and as a rider I was great to see the reactions that we saw. This is an incredible sport, its future is as bright as the future is for the current crop of stars we currently see at the top of the sport. Long live ciclismo!
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