I managed to secure a new bike in the nick of time to go on my trip to California where I am racing at Sea Otter next week. Thanks to Eric Benz, I was able to get a new bike that was in show-room condition! The exact same bike as my previous one but it is the 08 model with better components on it (Ultegra SL's). I went down to Source Endurance for a bike fit by Dave Wenger and he made some radical changes! My seat height has been raised 4cm! My stem-length is longer and the handle-bars have been dropped a couple of cm's so that I am now more stretched out and when riding in the drops, I am more aero. I also had a brand-new seat from my new sponsor, Selle SMP Composit Strike, fitted to my bike and wow it feels very nice and surprisingly comfortable despite the hardness! Will write a full-review after I have had more rides and races under my belt. I raced the Driveway criterium on my new set-up and it felt very different and maybe a little too "roomy" in the cock-pit for me and the saddle height feels slightly too high. My coach, Stefan Rothe (Rothe Training) mentioned perhaps I need to do the changes in steps so I am going to drop saddle by 2cm and then raise 1cm each week till I am used to the set-up. I felt new muscles firing in the race last night, and thus was feeling stiff and worked over that evening! I did reasonably well in the criterium, contesting all 3 primes that were offered, but was always outsed by an in-form Bryan Fawley. At least I was up the front and gave it my best shot. After the first prime, the winning break of eight rolled away while I was recovering in the bunch and we could never bring them back since they had too much firepower with Heath Blackgrove, Dave Wenger, Sol Frost and Stefan Rothe all in the break. I finished 5th in the pack sprint for 13th overall.
I am now at the airport in Pheonix and about to board to fly over to San Jose. Keep tuned to my blog for my racing updates on Sea Otter next week!