“That tour’s in the bank boys, miles in the legs, they can’t take that out. ” ~Karl Menzies
Tour of Qatar started off with a 15 hour plane ride from Miami, FL and an 8 hour time change. Not 30 hours from landing we were racing full speed in the gutter with wind whipping sand across the road.
“Qatar is not a normal race. It’s special.” ~Marco Canola
This is a special race. Everyday everyone is fighting for position because an echelon will form and the road is only so big. Everyday there are crashes. Everyday the field will split into groups and no matter if you’re in the front group or last group you’re going as hard as you can. For this race I had a 54 tooth front chainring, and yes, I spent a bit of time in the 54×11 as we hit top speeds of 50mph on the flat dessert roads with average speeds between 28 to 30 mph for more than 100 miles.
We gave it our best shot. The team had some strong performances against some world class competition. Personally, I felt like the legs were coming around each day for the effort that is required at race pace compared to training. The team started moving better together by the end of the race and Marco Canola was 10th on the final stage. Not a result that we are normally happy with but we have to be realistic in the end.
We’ll take what we got from here and move onto the next race which starts in just a few days. We have a little down time today to enjoy the nice place we are staying before flying out to Oman. Oman is more of a “normal” race. By the looks of the profiles there will be lots of climbing.