Tomorrow is my first stage race* of the season. My second stage race ever. I am a bundle of nerves. I usually spend the day before a race visualizing key points out on the course, how the tactics might play out, and how I might respond. I get so worked up that my heart rate gets all the way up into the 60’s or 70’s, and it feels like it’s going to pound out of my chest.
*The Bikes for Kids race I did a couple weeks ago was an omnium, not a stage race. What’s the difference since both have stages? In an omnium, you’re not required to finish all the events to figure in the overall, and the overall winner is based on points awarded in the various stages rather than cumulative time for all stages. In a stage race, the overall winner is the racer with the lowest cumulative time across all the stages**. Thus, I skipped the TT portion of the Bikes for Kids omnium since I’m not well-suited to that discipline. Tomorrow I have to do the TT in order to participate in the other events even though I don’t really want to. Anyone who gets a mechanical in the TT will hate me, since those not finishing due to mechanicals are given the worst time plus 30 seconds, and I fully expect to continue my DFL tradition by having the worst time in the TT tomorrow.
**The Tour de France is the best-known stage race in the world. The Giro d’Italia is probably the second best-known, and was originally (1909-1913) scored like an omnium with the winner determined based on points from the various stages rather than cumulative time. Le Tour was also scored this way from 1905 to 1912. Both races continue to have a points competition today, which is dominated by the sprinters, but unlike an omnium, a racer has to complete all stages to figure into the points competition.
It’s hard to relax, but humor helps. Especially when it’s particularly ridiculous and not necessarily intended to be funny but is anyway. Thankfully, Rick and Jes posted two of the funniest youtube videos I’ve seen in ages. In case you missed them, I’m passing them along. Happy Friday.