As the World Championships unfolds in Yorkshire this week, here is a reflection, by Michael Barry, on the unique aspects of the race and on competing for Canada . Published in Soigneur Journal
In a small hotel, up on the hillside outside of Lugano, the team director, Denis Roux, knocked on my room door with jerseys and shorts for my roommate and me. Outside, the sun was setting. He handed me the folded blue-and-red jersey emblazoned with an artistic impression of a maple leaf. He said a few words about the next day’s race, the weather, and the tactic, and walked out. Excitement and angst swirled from my mind to my gut. The race could form my future. Picking up a novel to distract my thoughts, I read a few pages, but my mind returned to the race, the climbs, the descents, and the finish. This wasn’t my first time competing for the Canadian team, and it wasn’t even my first world championships. That was back when I was 18 in Perth, Australia, and the experience had been dismal. I was ill and quit the road race. We started the team time trial under-geared, jetlagged, worn out and we floundered throughout the test. Dismayed at the difficultly of the race, the level of the competition, and the support we had, few of my teammates raced again. This time, three years later, it wasn’t the fear of failure that instilled the anxiety but the possibility of success.