A number of you have asked how did my friend’s son fare in his race two weeks ago. Well, despite agonising cramp, he went on to finish third. But he wasn’t happy – only the top step will do. So last week-end in a 6km time-trial up the Col du Tanneron he finished first in his category. However, his greatest pleasure was beating his two-minute man to the line. This was an eighteen year old – four years older – who set off two minutes ahead.
He was racing again this morning in Marseille so the week-end followed a similar pattern to that two weeks’ ago. I picked him up on Saturday afternoon after checking carefully that he had everything he needed. He was pleased as punch that his Dad had lent him some lighter racing wheels and had given him an early birthday present of new red and white cycling shoes and sunglasses. When we arrived back at the flat I left him to amuse himself while I whipped up one of his favourite meals: home-made lasagna followed by creamy rice pudding. Surely enough carbohydrates to fuel the team let alone my little cup-cake. He went to bed early. Racers can never get enough rest!
I woke in the early hours and assumed that it was my beloved’s snoring which had disturbed me. I rolled over and went back to sleep, rising a 04:30am to make him muesli and banana muffins for breakfast. I packed his musette with plenty of muffins to share with the other kids. I woke him at 05:15am and he appeared almost immediately, fully-dressed in his racing gear, in the kitchen. He admitted hat he’d woken up at 02:30, washed and dressed and found his way to the kitchen. It was all in darkness, so he’d retraced his steps, noticing that his bedside alarm clock showed 02:45, he climbed back beneath the covers for some more shut-eye.
We had our usual chat about tactics on the way to the drop off point. It was tipping it down with rain and I hoped that the weather would be kinder in Marseille. It was. I’ve just spoken to his mother and she told me he’d won the race. No doubt I’ll hear all about it over dinner this evening. So, a quick recap, he’s been riding eight months, he’s done six races and has three wins, a third and two top tens. Not a bad haul!