I have been quite lucky over the past two years to be the guest of Dorel Industries in Montreal at the UCI pro race. Most of the parents out there will recognize Dorel as a maker of all things baby related with a particular emphasis on car seats. For all the cyclists, dorel is the corporate name behind Cannondale and the Liquigas / Cannondale cycling team. Two years ago, I was able to meet and ride with legend Ivan Basso and perhaps future legend Peter Sagan. Last year, I got to meet two Americans, Ted King (you can follow him on Strava) and Timmy Duggan. These guys are the heart and soul of the peleton, the guys who are enablers to the stars (Basso, Sagan, Nibali). It is a life that appears quite wonderous and exotic from the outside - who would't want to get paid to travel all over Europe on a $12,000 bike? (people pay Butterfield and Robinson big bucks for that type of lifestyle - and then don't even get Di2 Dura-Ace - the shame).
As the Tour of California appears just 4 weeks on the horizon my intrigue over what the peloton faces on a daily basis is going to get answered in spades. I can only hope that I have prepared myself physically and hope that I can fall back on some of my ironman experience to push me through the mental challenges that are sure to arrive. in the meantime, I have signed up for Strava (I have actually started a beaches cycling group) and follow Ted King's rides. I have maintained contact with Timmy Duggan and he will be riding at ATOC with Liquigas Cannondale - I will be able to compare powertaps! :) To give you a sense of race day, I would invite you to read Timmy's blog at just go harder - I think his commentary of March 25th was exactly in keeping with our epic ride two weekends ago - as cyclists, we can all relate.