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by Jacob Fetty
’Cross is over.
You have watched the World Championship replay 17 times on YouTube. You are lost. It feels like your partner has moved on and wants a six-month break.
Oh, the drama.
Here are three things to help you through the break-up:
See Other People
Over the previous several months you were exclusive with your ’cross relationship. Now, it is time to see other people. Knock the mud off of your mountain bike, clean the road grit off of your road bike and go have fun. None of us got on a bike and said, “Wow, this is cool, I want to do intervals.” Rather, we got on our bikes, felt like a 10-year old again and it all went from there. The sacrifice and training is a means to the end, the tools needed to shape your goals. However, your goals are behind you, for now, and it is time to have some fun. Cut loose.
Don’t Rush Into Anything
It is extremely tempting to look at the calendar and start jumping into races right away. You are not ready for this. You need to take some time to heal your wounds and decompress. ’Cross is an intense relationship and you need to allow yourself to take a deep breath. Taking time away from racing, and more importantly, limiting your travel will allow you to refocus more easily and will increase your motivation when it is time to start dating ‘cross again.
Once you have decompressed and gotten a new perspective by setting your ’cross bike aside, it is time to honestly evaluate what was good about ’cross season and what needs improved upon. From here, you set your goals and start working backwards to where you are today. Often times we get so busy with road, track or mountain bike season that we don’t allow ourselves the proper build up to ’cross. Now is a great opportunity to chart out your season and give your ’cross build the proper respect it deserves.
Interject these simple methods into your limbo that is post ’cross season and spring race season, and I am certain you will find your groove while at the same time expanding your ability and having fun.
MANTES-LA-JOLIE, France — Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) abandoned Paris-Nice on Sunday’s first stage.
The 25-year-old, fourth here last year and fifth in the 2012 Tour de France, pulled out after 71km of the 162.5km stage.
Van Garderen — who will be BMC’s leader for this year’s Tour as Cadel Evans focuses on the Giro d’Italia — had come into the race on the back of a fine runner-up finish behind reigning Tour champion Chris Froome (Sky) in the Tour of Oman.
The race had already seen the withdrawal of defending champion Richie Porte, who switched to the Tirreno-Adriatico race when teammate Froome pulled out with a back injury.
Van Garderen said he may have picked up a stomach bug on his flight from Nice to Paris on Friday.
“At night, I had all these stomach cramps, and bad diarrhea all day yesterday and then a little bit of a fever and no appetite,” he said. “It felt like my sickness was getting better and today, I woke up and I felt okay. But I was really just empty. I couldn’t take in calories and just had nothing in the muscles.”
BMC’s chief medical officer, Dr. Max Testa, said Van Garderen was motivated to compete, but added: “You can’t race without fuel. I think the combination of dehydration and low glycogen in his muscles forced him to stop. Hopefully, he will recover in a couple days.”
Van Garderen is scheduled to race the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya March 24-30 in Spain, but the team said his racing program may be adjusted to compensate for the lost days of competition.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) claimed a narrow victory in the Roma Maxima on Sunday, just a single second ahead of a charging peloton.
Valverde and Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) were off the front in the final 10km, chased by Matteo Rabottini (Yellow Fluo) at 38 with a second chase at 47.
With 5km to go Rabottini was barely hanging onto third while the peloton swept in a second chase and closed in on him.
Valverde, fresh off his third-place finish in Saturday’s Strade Bianche, was on the front in the final 2km, and Pozzovivo was gambling, skipping his pulls as the Coliseum came into view.
At the red kite the chase was just a couple dozen seconds behind, having snuffed a last-ditch attack by Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing).
Inside 300 meters the bunch was charging down on the two leaders as Valverde drove toward the line. But they were too late — the Spaniard just had time to raise one hand in triumph as he crossed the line, while Pozzovivo saw his second place disappear in the bunch sprint.
Davide Appollonio (Ag2r) deprived his teammate of the runner-up spot with Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF) third.
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