Joe here - when this blog goes live I'll be winging my way to Orlando, Florida where I'll meet up with my US colleague and fellow endurance rider, Marc Poland. He's been instrumental in me being able to race, minus my usual crew. It's yet another example of the strength of community within our global endurance family.
We're both doing Sebring on Saturday Feb 9th, often considered the season opener.
I've never raced it before. You've got lots of choice in this race, 12-24 hours or a 100 miles.
I'm doing the 24 hours.
We all train to race but it's also important to race to train.
Our goal in 2019 is to deliver an exceptional performance in Race Across America (RAAM).
That's no mean feat and I didn't write that sentence lightly.
That's why I'm going to Sebring 24 hours, it's all part of preparing to deliver that result.
Abraham Lincoln once famously said, "give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
I'm sharpening the axe.
Race Across America is a completely different 'ask' to Race Around Ireland. Yes, it's longer, in that it's over 3000 miles, but it's also flatter. There are large sections, like a mere 600 miles in Kansas, that are simply impossible to replicate in Ireland.
It's no secret that flat terrain doesn't suit me as well. I'm on the lighter side so I tend to get blown around by the wind. It uses up valuable resources that a heavier guy doesn't have to spend.
Since Race Around Ireland I've been laser focused on aerodynamics and on closing the gap on the flat sections.
I've added to and adjusted the front end of the Teschner time trial bike. I'm planning to be on that bike a whole lot more in 2019.
My clothing partner, Powerhouse Sport, has designed more aerodynamic clothing.
I'm considering a new format of tyres.
Incremental gains over distance packs a punch, especially when the distance is 3000+ miles.
Did I mention that the Sebring course is flat?
It's the perfect test-bed for RAAM and that's why I'm racing to train.
Of course it's my intention to deliver a result at Sebring. Ether way, I'm planning to spend 24 hours on the time trial bike in, god willing, a hot environment.
I'm sharpening my RAAM axe.
The race starts, Sat Feb 9th at 7AM EST. We'll post the link and do our best to keep you updated.
I look forward to doing a live race debrief, with our very own, Ian Struthers, when I get home next week.
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