Saturday, July 24, 2021

February Chills

-

February Chills. End of Feb Tallies

  • Countries — 3 (2010 Total 4)
  • Hotel Days — 7 (Total 25)
  • Hotels — 4 (Total 6)
  • Flight Distance — 2126km (Total 23258km)
  • Drive Distance — 3063km (Total 3720)

So January was all sunshine and roses.

And then… KERTHUMP! Along came Europe in winter in all of her furious unpredictability! My first night in Girona was one of the very rare times that it snows in town. We’re very close to the Pyrenees, so on clear days you can see snow on the mountaintops deep into May, but snow in town is rare. I’d love to have photos to show, but I was too freakin cold to be worrying about such! Not only was it super cold, but Mands and my central heating had drained of water while we’d been in Australia, and so there was not only no hot water, but also no heating. Ohhh the joy!

And then for the final indignity. Upon opening the fridge I realised my schoolboy error when, after dutifully emptying and unplugging it back in October, I then closed the fridge door. A wonderful breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and germs. So I also had the awesome task of cleaning the fridge and freezer out with boiled water while I awaited the central heating dude to come and rescue me. Not my most triumphant return to business ever!

As for the team, we’ve been a little in the wars, as has most every Pro team at this time of year — sketchy road surfaces, high wind, cold hands and not yet being fully in the swing of things means that crashes happen a lot more regularly than any other part of the year. One rib, two collar bones and a scapula (!!!) in the space of a week had us all looking to the sky wondering what would come next!

One of our boys was so bad he had to get his shoulder fixed up at a guru surgeon up in Belgium, and I went up to make sure we were on the right page as far as rehab expectations, and also just to make sure that the poor bloke wasn’t stuck in a foreign airport a day after an operation and finding out the hard way that he in fact wasn’t ready to head back to the team base. Not a bad diversion for a day I guess!

My other trip was down to the Volta ao Algarve , which is on the far side of the southernmost end of Portugal (translation: frickin MILES from Girona). I drove down at warp speed, gaining first hand experience of the Spanish version of “driving to the prevailing conditions” which apparently translates “to drive as fast as your car goes at all times.”

February Chills
Mist and fog? – no need to slow down.

The photo is of the road just after I’d woken up to notice we were still shifting along at well over comfortable speed. Needless to say I drove the majority of the way! The racing was intense, with two of the boys needing to have their wrists worked on after a 200km+ day when they’d cramped from being on the brakes so often through the day, as well as a couple of big crashes, leading to stitches for one, and a bunch of skin off for another. Another day in the office!

Algarve is a beautiful part of the world, though, and if you’re ever looking for somewhere nice and a little out of the way, I’d suggest it strongly. The town we stayed in, Lagos, sat next to some truly gorgeous cliff formations (like a more close-up, intense version of the Twelve Apostles off the south coast of Australia). I had a run out there, got distracted by the beauty, and ran for the longest period of my life. Coolness!

I think that should make the page show the details of the run, but we’ll see.

Until next time, then.

Toby Watsonhttps://www.veloveritas.co.uk
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

Related Articles

Consistent Aggression (Tour of Britain 2010)

Consistent Aggression. I'm in Ipswich, southeast England, and have finally found time to get finger to keyboard (what is the modern equivalent of "pen to paper"?) to scribble (again-what's the digital version of scribbling?-such important questions on this blog!) down a little of what's been going on.

Roubaix, Baixby! The Queen of the Classics

Paris-Roubaix. Hell of the north. The Queen of the Classics… Roubaix, Baixby! There is a great deal of hype out there about the latest and greatest event taking place. When it comes to Roubaix, the expectation and the event itself meet. This is a brilliant bike race!

The Bounce: TdF 2010 Stage 3 (mini Roubaix)

The Bounce. We came to this Tour with nine guys ready to race. We’re down our leader and facing some injuries, but if yesterday proved anything it’s that we’re still up for it. The day started out with a little stress, considering the injuries some of the guys were going to go over cobbles with.

Weight of a Nation: TdF 2010 Stage 7 (hilltop)

Weight of a Nation. Today was the first mountain stage of the race, and the second chance for the big hitters to test each others' legs and see who was looking dangerous and who not. I just love the mountaintop stages in these races!

Tour Down Under – a little late starting, but it IS a start!

A quick recap on 2010 to date — Had the BIG Engagement party in early Jan (and thanks to all who came along — it was gratifying seeing so many of Mands and my family and friends there, many from a long way away). And then it was straight to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under.

The Next Level: TdF2010 Stage 17 (mountaintop)

The Next Level. Today, TdF2010 Stage 17, was the showdown. As all who watch cycling know, any stage with a mountaintop finish is where many of the overall selections happen, and when the mountain is the Tourmalet, which is enormous both in terms of the difficulty of the climb, as well as its history, it’s all the more definitive.

At Random

Spring Classics Have Sprung!

And so the warm weather (excluding Tour of the Med) precursors to the bike season proper have concluded. Down Under, Qatar, Oman, Algarve, etc have all had their brief moments in the spotlight, Langkawi has kicked off with a win to Zab in the time trial (no surprises that Zab is nowhere near the Classics! Not a sketchy conditions type of rider is the great DZ.) Now we head to the heartland of the sport and the portion of the season where the hardmen have their moments to shine.

Guy Smet; Big Scores in Belgium

The score may have been Dunfermline 1 Queen of the South 2 at East End Park, the other night, but in Flanders just now it's Guy 24, Mario 22.

The VV View: Pantani Revisionism, Qatar Worlds, CIRC and Raleigh

I can remember perfectly where I was when Marco Pantani died; sitting in my living room in Dysart. The flash came over Eurosport News and I rang Viktor to tell him; ‘hardly surprising’ was the reply. I knew what he meant, the little Italian’s life had been on a self destructive spiral for a some time - rehab or disaster were the only two possible destinations. It was the Spartan philosophers who first coined the expression, ‘never speak ill of the dead.’ And whilst it’s always dreadfully sad to see a young life wasted, I’m puzzled by the current revisionist accounts of his life which are doing the rounds on the 10th anniversary of his death.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012 – Day One

The gun fires, the bongos rattle, 'Cara Mia' blasts, the rattle of chains and rumble of rubber on wood builds and the chase which kicks off the 50th Six Days of Copenhagen is up and running. But it's not any old chase, since I first walked up the steps from the tunnel when we arrived here on Wednesday afternoon the lap board has been displaying a short but grim message-400.

Dougie Young

It's with much sadness that VeloVeritas has to report the passing of another young man who's life hadn't really begun. Just days after Ben Abrahams was taken from us, Dougie Young has gone too. Rest in peace, Dougie. Sincere condolences to his friends, family and loved ones from Martin and Ed here at VeloVeritas.

Neah Evans – European Team Pursuit Champion

If you check the palmares websites, Neah Evans' name first pops up in 2015 – just four years later and she’s performing at world level in ladies track cycling as part of the GB ladies team pursuit squad; with her most recent successes coming in the European Team Pursuit Championships and Glasgow World Cup where her squad took gold on both occasions.