Rider Diary: Philadelphia International Classic and Tour of America’s Dairyland

By Michael Smith Larsen, SoCalCycling.com Team

6/27/11 – Now it is almost 2 months since the Dana Point Grand Prix, so maybe it is time to write a little more in my diary. The race didn’t go as I hoped, a big break went up the road and I hesitated too long which ended up in missing the opportunity for a good result. 18th was far good enough.

Well, that result was the start of a very hard and strong training plan for May which should culminate in a good form for all the exciting races I had planned for June.

Focused training began with my new training partner, Rocky Bower, who became my host family from the beginning of May. We did many hours in the saddle, with a lot of special interval training and a strict diet. It was a hard period, but despite the hard training I constantly found myself improving and the results were still coming with a 3rd place at the Barrio Logan Gran Prix and 4th in Ontario.

In the meantime, I also had the pleasure to experience some real American culture, I went with Rocky to a Dodgers game on VIP tickets, buffet and a very good time.

In the end of May, a whole month of exciting races began with 2 NRC Crits in New Jersey. One ended up with bruises and a smashed carbon rear wheel and the next with some NRC points after a 14th place at the Base Camp International.

The big race though, was the Philadelphia International Classic with the Danish National Team in the beginning of June.  It is a hard race over more than 160 miles and 10 times up the “Manyunk Wall”.  My prior goal was to finish, which I did, but in the end I was a bit disappointed with a 37th place.

A good week in Philadelphia led to the next 2 races, the NRC Crit Series, Air Force Classic in Washington DC. The first was a killer, 100 degrees and was extremely humid. I did 5 miles and simply couldn’t breathe or anything else that could help me stay in the group.

The next day wasn’t much different, but on pure will I ended up 10th after fighting my way to the front chasing a full strong team from United Healthcare taking the first 3 places!  A good result and some prize money which was much needed in a poor Danish cyclists pocket.

After Washington DC,  the next adventure was in Milwaukee, participating in the Tour of America’s Dairyland over 10 days. Places like 7, 8, 10, 13 and 15 is so far what I have obtained.

After that it is on the plane back to LA and then a deserved vacation in Hawaii where my older brother and family have decided to have their summer vacation. I’m really looking forward to seeing my family again. It has almost been 5 months since I saw them the last time and I feel it now and then. Although I really feel adapted to staying here, I have made a lot of friends which makes it’s a lot easier to stay so many miles away from home for so long.

I hope to stay and race until the middle of August, so you will probably here from me again.


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