Starting Fresh: (French Based Cyclist Darragh Zaidan Puts minor problems behind him as he prepares for upcoming events) "I have been quite laxidasical in my blog posts of late. I'm not going to spend one day writing about the last 3 weeks; there were some races, no major results, a big block of training and a broken frame to be brief and to the point.
So yesterday was the Prix d'Ornans; 120kms of quite a hilly route. Not ideal for me but due to the bad luck and setbacks I’ve had over the past 10 days or so I was very motivated and really wanted to do well. I had a bit of a sore throat last week and the virus hasn't yet cleared completely as my resting heart rate has been a few beats above normal but as I have just a week left here before I return to Ireland to let my hair down for a week before starting my final preperations for the National Championships which are at the end of June in Tipperary.
So the race started with a 6km neutrallised climb which even though it was quite a tranquil pace, the 30degree heat and humidity was making it that little bit more difficult than it should have been. Once the flag dropped the pace was high and it felt like a bit of a shock to the system. There was a bit of a headwind on this undualting part of road and it took a while before I started to feel good. I like the hot sunny weather, who doesn't? but bike racing in this sort of heat isn't easy.
We had a man in a 3 man break so the team were intent on blocking any potential moves as the break pulled out of sight. Then as we hit the second climb of the day a 5km climb a 5man move had established and it was my turn to do some of the work, so I found a good tempo and just tapped it out for as long as I could. The break was coming back steadily and with most of the climb over the break came back and it was altogether again but not for long. On the undulating roads after the short descent there was more attacking and riders were bridging across in one's and two's and before long there was a big break established and alarm bells started ringing. They weren't pulling out a big gap due to such a big number of riders being in the break, they weren't all keen on making the pace. Not long after a long, and fast descent we were all back together.
The race then hit some narrower roads on the run in back to Ornans before starting the 70km loop including alot more climbing, on the next 5km or so climb I was tailed off with 30 or so others. Now in the ''groupetto'' we were riding steady but the front of the race was now out of sight. We came to a T junction on the course, to the right (which was the race route) there was thunder and lightning and heavy showers were on the way to the left was the start town not yet affected by the oncoming storm. The groupetto all went left ignoring the signs and marshalls and I followed. Being part of the groupetto is bad enough without having to ride into an oncoming thunderstorm with arm warmers, rain-cape or even a gillet. We got back to Ornans and found nobody at our car containing the bags and the keys weren't in any of the usual hiding places.
The thunder storm came and we took shelter in the bar beside the car park. I had a coffee to pass the time and stay warm. It wasn't long until a marshal had crossed our path and told us the race was abandoned for the safety of the riders.
All in all it was a miserable day, I am now looking forward to my final race in France before returning to Ireland for a short break and of course National Championships. It is a 2day, 3stage tour consisting of a 19km Team TT, followed by a 100km circuit race and a 120km road race. I am looking forward to it and hoping for a good result.
I am quite looking forward to my break in Ireland, catching up with the family and friends and doing some racing back home with my team mate Sean (kiwi) who has decided to come to Ireland with me for his 2 week break. This could be an interesting adventure for us both!
My next post will probably be written on the plane back home so until then.
In search Of Something I am 19 years old and I aspire to one day become a professional cyclist. I ride in France with Vélo Club des Cantons de Morteau-Montbenoit(VCCMM). Click Here For My Blog