One week prior to World Championships, we competed at the final stop of the UCI’s World Cup circuit in Matane, Quebec, three hours south of Baie-Comeau. The two time trial courses were similar to each other and would serve as the final dress rehearsal before Worlds a week later. Perfect execution was the goal for the World Cup.
Matane’s 8km circuit was open for training before the day’s racing began. I’ve always liked pre-riding the course as much as possible; it’s one more opportunity to learn about the course, and to get a read on the day’s conditions. The wind changes directions often in northeastern Canada, changing the difficulty of the circuit so having the most up to date weather conditions is helpful. Pre-riding the course followed by a standard warm up on the rollers had me primed and ready to race.
The team’s head coach, Andy, was in my follow car. After some technical problems with the race radio, we decided not to use it. Rather, he would use a bullhorn to relay information to me. Having nearly constant feedback and encouragement throughout the race in Matane was incredibly helpful. From the start, I knew it was going to be a good day. Staying in control and going relatively slowly for the first three minutes had me raring to open things up. After that, everything felt great. Mentally, things were sharper than ever; leg speed was excellent; every opportunity to straight-line turns was maximized; speed and power increased throughout the race; position on the bike stayed the same from beginning to end despite fatigue. I crossed the line with a comfortable margin of victory. It was as close to a perfect ride* as I’ve ever been.