I went to Switzerland for two weeks before heading down to SA; to train and ride the SX track at UCi's World Cycling Center. The place was really nice, weather was good the whole time, and a lot of fast riders came to ride while I was there - including my Redline team mate Tory Nyhaug from Canada. But unfortunately, I couldn't really ride because my back has been hurting me. I've had a back problem since I was little, and then it got worse during training in June.
So I watched most of the time, and learned from watching.
Everything went well until the last three days there.
We got ticket from police -- as you might know, if you already read RL news. Me and Akifumi Sakamoto were riding our bikes on the street when we came back from UCi Center to the Hotel. A police car stopped right in front of the hotel then they started talking to us. The police told us they were going to give us tickets! Because we were riding on one way road backwards, rode on side walk for 30 feet to get in to hotel and that we were using competition bicycles. Total cost $110 !!
It made for another good "Masa story" - and then we headed down to South Africa.
We got there on Sunday, and my bags came right away (that always makes me happy when i get to airport!) Had some good practice at the local track right next to the hotel we stayed at. PT guy came from Japan, so he worked on my back everyday then finally I could ride normal.
I did practice on the Worlds track Thursday and Friday, and felt pretty good. I got through all the jumps fine.
Three of my teammates (from Japan) had to go to hospital, and two of them had to have surgery that night. That just goes to show how hard the Worlds track was this year!
For the TT (time trials), I finished around 50th, which was my first time in the Top 64 cut, so I finally could race with thru the motos and if I was lucky - on to the quarters, semi's and main, I hoped. I crushed it in the first round then didn't do well in 1/8, but I was happy to able to race this time because of all the problems I had been having with my back.
Overall, the race was good, track was good, town was better than I was expecting.
But on the way back to the Bradford bed & breakfast in California, it was pretty tough!
I left SA on Monday afternoon, flight out from Durban to Johannesburg, Johannesburg to Zurich, Zurich to Geneva, Geneva to Washington, Washington to San francisco, San francisco to Monterey. Got Monterey 11:30PM on Tuesday. I thought I'd have to leave to Japan the next morning, but actually left the day after - so it was a little better. still had to flight to LAX then finally home to Tokyo. On my second from last flight, I had a dream that I couldn't land anywhere, so I have to live in the plane. ...ha ha.
Now I'm in Japan, it's really hot and humid here. Temperature is around 40degrees C, on some days! I will have a race coming up next two week ends - for the Japan series, and UCI round race for Asia.
Next race for USA is Chula vista. See you guys in September!
That's all for my Worlds 2010 adventure.