Nothing inspires the will to win inside me like my second place finish by a wheel in the Dauphine Libere!
It was a bittersweet moment for sure. On one hand it feels so good to finally be at the point where I can win on the ProTour level after fighting so hard this past year — recovering from my traumatic brain injury. One thing I’ve still been working to recover are my thought processes within a race, especially the more intense moments. I’ve had to re-learn a lot of little things that were previously automatic. But strangely, in the last couple days of the Dauphine, I had some things just click in my head. Some thoughts just became easier, simpler, and more automatic. So that was a huge accomplishment for me, to have that part of my brain and thoughts back.
But, man, it really sucks crossing the finish line with a guy half a meter in front with his hands in the air!
I’m losing a few nights sleep with that image in my head for sure. Trying not to think about it too much other than letting it feed the fire. To keep it in perspective, I was lucky to have my wife Loren and my dog at the finish line, watching their first ever European pro bike race in person. Might have to bring ‘em along more often in the future for good luck! And after the week of solid teamwork of each of my Garmin-Slipstream teammates, I was really inspired in the race on the final day.
I can definitely assure you that after some long months of struggling to just fill in the pack, my internal fire is lit up again and I remember what it feels like to be in it for the win.
Thanks for all the support, and if anyone needs me I’ll be out on the road working on my sprint!