A big smile on my face; that’s what many remind me I took from last weekend’s racing! It’s there to be seen on the plethora of website links to the finish line photo from the U23/Elite men’s race. Let me tell the genesis of that smile…
First up the championship time trial was run on Friday, which Subway Pro Cycling team mate Sam Horgan deservedly won. Placing second left me a little despondent but served as a good motivator and reality check that even though I’m the 2012 New Zealand Time Trial Champion, I cannot rest on my laurels.
I like the now familiar championship format of time trial Friday, road race Sunday. With the pressure off after the TT, despite there always being nerves I can enjoy the complete lack of predictability about the road race compared to that of the pure methodical execution of the former. But I also knew and implemented (maybe the best ever personally) a mental game plan to put me in the position to win.
The three of us from Subway Pro Cycling (Horgan and Aucklander Nick Lovegrove) all knew the game plan (to get in the breakaway) but I also made my self-thoughts more in the frame of a winner. I think this really made the difference on the day. That and a bit of luck – I initiated a break that contained two from the biggest team – Jayco, and three other Australian teams were represented; I was well rested and well supported from my Subway Pro Cycling team.
But the biggest thing that made me smile was the manner in which I won. It was not from a solo breakaway; nor was it after crossing a finish line and hearing that my time was fastest (as in a time trial); but it was in a two-up sprint where the certainty of the win can only come at that fleeting moment –ON THE FINISH LINE!