Petr Vakoc BLOG: Learning from the Best at the World TTT Championship
I was honored to be a reserve for OPQS in the UCI World TTT Championship in my first year as a pro.
I was really surprised when I found out I'd be coming here. To be honest I was quite nervous when it seemed that I could take the start if someone got sick. It's a new experience. But I really enjoyed the training with the guys who were selected to race. I saw the best of the best, and I was really happy to be there with them and experience the training, and to see what the preparation looked like. Everybody was so focused and well organized. It teaches me for the future. I now know what it looks like and what to expect at the top level of the WorldTour, it won't be absolutely new for me if I am selected in the future. I'm happy I had such an experience and I want to thank the team for giving me this opportunity.
Yesterday I was nervous even watching the race on the bus with Patrick Lefevere and Eddy Merckx. I saw Eddy once or twice before, but I was surprised he was present yesterday. It was cool to spend time with the legend watching our guys riding.
As for Wednesday, it's my first pro world championship. The parcours is the same as the TTT, but the end is more like the road race. I saw 80 or 90 percent of it already. The beginning is quite flat, but the last 10 or 15 km is hilly. It will be a really long TT at 47 kilometers. I've never done one so long. But OK, I'm ready for this challenge. I don't have a specific goal. I want to do my best and learn about racing against the best in the world. As for the TT discipline, I've always been quite good. I'm not among the best at this moment but it is one of my skills. It will be important for stage races in the future and I want to improve as much as possible. This will be a big learning experience as well.
Sometimes when I go training, and I'm struggling, or even in the races when I might get dropped, I think about the successes I've already had at a young age, including my victory at Tour of Poland. It gives me motivation to keep going. I am always trying to get better and I can use what I've done so far to keep my morale high.