Watching Volta made me humble!
Having been itching to watch stage 2 of the Volta on Eurosport, I was left thinking how bad I was!
It was meant to be my crowning moment.
Sat on the sofa with SKY+ remote in hand... the Daughter and the Wife were to watch on in awe as the pro peloton in the Volta Catalunya struggled up Els Angels with the same pain and lack of pace as I had on my stag party.
"This is a tough mountain" I had told them, failing to point out that in the 2010 Volta noted non-climber Mark Cavendish had stayed with the peloton over the cat 1 climb before winning the stage. They went over the easier side from Girona I had said to myself... its a different ball game from Bispal.
I had suffered immeasurably over the climb. I am old and from the Eastern English flat lands... a cat one mountain for me was like going into space. In fact despite not being that high, the altitude or pain got to me so bad that I was apparently waving to traffic and whooping as I rounded the last couple of hairpins.
Back to the living room... "Do you recognise this bit?" asked the wife... "Yes" I replied, " they will turn left past Monells and head up the climb any second now... you watch them slow down".
And we waited, and they rocketed around the first hairpin that I remember standing on the pedals and almost stalling on.
In fact the front group never dropped from their big rings all the way up the 6 miles. It wasn't my crowning moment at all.
It was the moment I realised the chasm between the pro peloton and me was wider than it is in my dreams when Andy Schleck looks into my eyes on L'Alpe D'Huez and says "you go, win the stage and the Tour de France, I have nothing left.".
"Is that it then" said the wife as Marco Mercato, Dan Martin and the Bradley Wiggins group flew over the top in about half the time I had toiled up in.
"Yes, yes it is" was my solitary reply.
But I wont give up on this mountain, nor my dreams of beating a Shleck... I will be back on the climb in May thanks to the lovely people at Bikecat in Girona.
And this time it will be war...