Suffering

With 30k left in yesterday’s race, I suddenly couldn’t see straight.

I’d been flying, covering moves and fetching bottles, fighting at the front then dropping back for the boys, euphoric, not useless, ‘til I cracked.

I wasn’t prepared. I was riding on memory, on too little training, too little racing, too much belief in myself.

In half a lap, I fell from the front to the back, legs numb and hands cramping, body bathed in pain, mind floating in ether. Every corner became a battle to concentrate, to stay on the wheel, stay on the wheel, stay on the fucking wheel.

For the rest of the race, I was either third or fourth last, absolutely grovelling. I nearly gave in every time the race was guttered. My back seized, my stomach cramped, my head pounded. Time became a blurry series of snapshots. I was defeated, I’d defeated myself, but to admit it would be to be done for.

I finished one hundred and somethingst, with the peloton.