It's Monday and the Tour of the Catskills starts this Friday. I am ready.
Training has gone very well. I haven't slipped in any races since the Pitman race last month. There have been lots of races since then and I've been itching to get out in the field and have a go at the guys. The problem was always that a race would coincide with a big training day and I favored the training ride over the race. That means I'm behind on getting enough races in to get out of CAT 5 but this race coming up has been my top priority since my recovery from the injury so I'm willing to make that sacrifice even if it means upgrading will take longer.
Racing in the Tour of the Catskills is sort of fulfilling a dream or big ambition of mine. That last stage of the race goes up Platte Cove Rd. better known as the Devil's Kitchen. Way back in 1990, we used to have a professional stage race here in the U.S. on the East coast similar to races in Europe. That was the Tour de Trump. Yes, none other than Donald Trump was the major sponsor at the time. That year, the tour came up to the Catskills and you guessed it, rode up the Devil's Kitchen. It had rained early that day and the road was so steep and the riders so unprepared that many of the riders had to walk up! It's a beast of a climb. Nearly 4 miles long but it's the latter 2.3 miles that really hurts with gradients up to 22%. Since then, I've always wanted to see and ride this fabled climb. Now I will get my chance this Sunday and I don't plan on walking up, not after all the training I've been doing.