La Ruta de los Conquistadores starts tomorrow! After a year of training, four training camps (including a reconnaissance trip to Costa Rica in September), and an enormous number of hours on the bike, I’m finally in Costa Rica with the 10 CTS Athletes and three CTS Coaches who are going to tackle La Ruta with me.
I’ve been involved in endurance sports for a long time, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited for a race to start. And it’s not just the racing that I’m looking forward to, but also the experience of sharing the journey with a great bunch of athletes and coaches. Through the camps and the emails and phone calls back and forth over the past several months, we’ve come together as a team, and that’s somewhat rare in endurance sports. We’ll be competing as individuals, but there’s tremendous camaraderie within the group and a true team atmosphere around the hotel, at meals, and on short training spins.
People have asked me if I’m nervous about La Ruta. The truth is that I’m not. I’m aware that plenty of things could go wrong, but I don’t feel nervous. I feel eager. I want to get this race started so we can finally go from preparing to doing! I’ve done everything I can to be ready for the challenges ahead. I’m fit, my bike is in great shape, I have a support crew that’s second to none, and I’ve previewed significant portions of the course. And that’s the recipe for having a great race, whether you’re going for the win at a Grand Tour or an Ironman World Championship, or you’re racing to achieve a personal accomplishment that has little to nothing to do with your place in the final standings.
Part of the reason I’m so excited about La Ruta is that I see this race as the beginning of something very special for Carmichael Training Systems. We’ve been putting together a list of other epic endurance events, including road cycling, mountain biking, triathlon, and ultramarathon running races, that CTS is going to travel to. And based on the demands of the races, we’re going to prepare athletes for these challenges with coaching and camps, handle the travel arrangements, and provide pro-level race support just like we have for La Ruta this year. Complete details will be available soon, and we have some great races lined up for 2011 and 2012.
For right now, though, I encourage you to go to www.trainright.com/LaRuta to follow me and the rest of the CTS Coaches and Athletes as we race the La Ruta de los Conquistadores mountain bike race from Nov. 17-20. We’ll be posting photos, GPS maps, videos, stories, and more.
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