Well, now in Thonon-Les-Bains, France – just 45 kilometers from Aigle, Switzerland. After a bit of driving on Thursday night and then some more today we made it to Aigle at around 2:00.
First stop was a bicycle store as I had a problem with my rear brake. Lucked out and found an excellent bike store called Dom Cycles and was treated to some amazing service by Stefan. Stefan fixed the brake problem, straightened my derailleur hangar, checked out my shifting, took my rear wheel apart and told me that the free hub was almost “kaput”, double-checked that I put the stem together properly and then did the same for my other bike. So both bikes are now in top condition with everything working properly. He definitely does not like the “lawyer tabs” on my front forks and offered to shave them off. Stefan showed me a special skewer nut that you can use if you don’t have the lawyer tabs – it still gives the security of the lawyer tabs but makes it easier to do wheel changes – though they don’t work well for cycle-cross (these skewer nuts were invented in France).
Got out for a great 60 minute ride today. Started at the UCI headquarters and jumped on some pretty awesome bicycle paths. The bicycle path system is comparable to that of the one in Holland. Had a great ride along a river with the mountains looming on either side. (Took some photos that I’ll post with the next post.) Took a quick look at the course – from what I can see it is going to be very challenging. Lots of off-camber corners/climbs. We ride on the BMX track over a part of the pump track. The elevation is pretty flat but there are very steep ups and downs (but short). Speed, acceleration and keeping a high cadence will be critical. It is super dry right now and I’m hoping it stays that way. I did see some guys running some of the cambered corner/climbs – hard to know what to do.
Planning on going to the course a bit early tomorrow so I can practice the key technical sections when it is not super busy. Took a poke around the UCI headquarters as well – the indoor velodrome is pretty swank. Lots going on with the velodrome, BMX course, cyclo-cross course, and the bicycle paths just behind it.
We are stopped for the night in the RV in a public parking lot with two other RVs. So far the RV is working out well. Plenty of space and it is super convenient to not have to worry about finding restaurants or hotels. Tomorrow night we’re staying in an Ibis hotel in Thonon-Les-Bains.
I’m feeling pretty good. The legs felt good today – I didn’t push it but I did a few accelerations to test out my body. So far so good. I think my body is responding to the iron infusions I had and the rest has helped as well.
Well, that’s it for now. (Sorry for the delay in posting but there is no free WiFi to be had and the SIM card I bought only works in the iPhone and not in my iPad. So you’ll get a bunch of posts at once – since we have WiFi at our hotel on Saturday… Again it might be a delay for a race report – but I’ll get Marc to post something on Facebook for me!)
Alright, time to shut this down and read a bit. Thanks again for all the encouragement and supportive emails. Looking forward to the race on on Sunday.