It's the eve of the biggest race that I will have ever done. I'm halfway around the world, sitting in a dark stairwell, the only place where the Internet connection is sufficient, sipping water from my bottle. The Counting Crows is playing over the tiny speakers of my laptop. I'm wondering if I've prepared myself for this. I'm trying to settle my nerves.
Why do I get so nervous? Why do I always have trouble sleeping?
Perhaps the reason is because I see bike racing as a game of chance. Training hard, eating right, sleeping enough, putting together tricked out bikes. To me, these things just increase your odds of a good result. But there's so many things that you can't control. There's always a royal flush to beat your straight, and nothing trumps waking up on the wrong side of the bed. That's what makes me nervous.
Stuck somewhere between a USAC National events and a UCI World Cup, the Swiss Racer Bikes Cup event tomorrow is a little intimidating. There's 60 elite men in our field. My starting number is 54. I was number 54 last week....