Sunday, May 3, 2009

more Gila

Stage 3's Time Trial did not go as well...I had a solid warm-up and ended up doing a very similar time like last year but that only got me 83rd place this year whereas I finished 32nd with that in '08. Weird! Oh well, Mike did amazing again and was the 2nd best Amateur, "only" finishing 3:23 behind stage winner & new course-record holder Levi.

The Stage 4 Criterium is something I was looking forward to. Racing a NRC Crit at 6000Ft is a bit different (=harder) then "cruising" around the Wilson Historic District at the Matrix Challenge but it went fine. After 3 stages not everyone wants to go super hard so that's what helped me a bit. 15minutes in I made a move on the backside climb and Tim J. of OUCH came along with me. It hurt, he doesn't go slow at all, either! They announced a $100 prime so it was motivation enough to keep digging deep and I got it....but quickly realized that - in order not to fall off my bike - I need to go "back" to the field. So I did and finished - almost - safely in the bunch. I got held up in the Crit with that 1 1/2 lap-to-go crash where I needed to unclip and get straight back onto the road was able to make contact with the front group and finished the day out in 25th.

...hurting for the $ during the P/1 Crit

You love it or you hate it - the "Gila Monster" or Stage 5 with 9300ft of climbing over 107miles. Mike was sitting top 30 in GC and was looking to move up towards Top 20 so he needed all the help he could get. After a few scary early crashed (which both required medical helicopter assistance) the field "calmed down" a bit and we were cruising along the valley towards the first of 3 major climbs. 7miles, just pure gradual climbing. I made it somehow, so did maybe 50 other guys. The descent afterwards was a bit sketchy as always but at least no one seriously crashed like last year. One more time I went back to the car and loaded up on bottles and gels for Mike before we reached the U-Turn at the Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center and headed back up - a Cat. 1 climb now. After nearly 70miles of racing that's where my body said "Stop" and I just rode my own rhythm. The last few climbs I rode in smaller groups and solo towards the line. Thanks to the Dave Bolch for the water bottle and the gels! Ended up 66th while Mike got 21st on the day. Travis and Travis finished the day, too so it was a solid day & Tour for our little team among the big powerhouses like Mellow Johnny's ;-)

made by Kristina Quinn

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