2019 Australia block - Old pony, new tricks
The last time I was in Oz was 6 months in 2016. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for me:
I became the first -- and still only -- competitive cyclist from India to ride "Pro" for a UCI Continental team -- State of Matter/MAAP. More than the historical footnote, it was the whole experience that was an eye-opener for me. It was the realization that the only thing holding #IndianCycling back is us -- its athletes -- our lackluster work rate and our averseness to take pioneering risks.
It was also the first time India had the opportunity to start the ITT at the modern UCI Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar that year. That was a surreal experience -- finishing 55th, 7'48" behind der Panzerwagon. No calls from JV or Brent Copeland after the result, but for me it was the chance to see what it took to plan and execute for an event like this for a small team of riders and staff on a budget.
This time, the plan is to spend about 60 days in Australia, from February 20 to mid-April. I'll be working with my coach -- David Headley of www.Cycling-Inform.com -- with 3 focii:
To teach this old pony some new tricks and become track proficient to ride a 4km Individual Pursuit
To bank a quality March: volume, vertical, bunch rides, back-loaded races, and meet awesome people
Sharpen up in April: spend time at the pointy end of bunches, track speed, and go hermit mode
Till the next episode from Oz. #KaamKaro.