Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ft. Davis "HammerFest"

Going into the 3rd TX stage-race of the year I knew it would be hard to repeat the GC win from '06 and '07 mainly because I was lacking one important thing: teammates! Well, I still didn't want to miss the the best and toughest stage-race of the year in Texas at 5000ft in Jeff Davis County, just 80miles north of the Mexican border.
After 440miles driving West and a short night I started Stage 1's TT at 8:01am at 39°. This time the wind blow from the North East, making it a tail/crosswind out and a head/crosswind back to town. I felt good, but not good enough to win. Ended up in 4th place. Wenger, Boyd, and Colavita took 1st through 3rd place. My time was two minutes faster this year comparing to '07 where I won the TT. Ouch!
Post-race quesadillas along with a good nap at the Prude Ranch got me ready for Stage 2, a 16mile "road race" up to the McDonald Observatory at 6800ft. We had tailwind all the way which made the race fast and for most part of the race we let Loren Dodson of Velossimo ride in front of the pack with the GC guys looking at each other and waiting for the final 1K 18% steep climb. Well, I don't like to wait until it gets hard and rather let the others get out of their closet and race instead. I quickly caught up to Dodson and we rode together 'til we hit the final 1K. I knew it would be hard to take the stage since I'm an okay-climber but like more the power-climbs instead of 1K at 18%. Alex and Travis came up to me and Alex took the win ahead of Travis and me just behind a few seconds. That got me in 2nd GC but Alex was untouchable today. Coming from Redlands he was def. the most complete rider.
Pre-Stage 3 saw a GC combination of Boyd, me, Travis, Wenger but at the end of the day that all got mixed up to due the fact that "early break" made it this time to the line w/ out getting caught. The largest gap was 7minutes at one point. I didn't hit the Panic Button since we always caught the leaders somehow before the end of the line. Not this time. I had 3 options: a) sit in and hide and wait for the finish b) attack the group trying to get away w/ a few other riders in an attempt to catch the leaders up the road c) ride at LT all the way to the finish in hope to minimize losses. Well, I chose option b) but other than shelling a couple of guys out the back it did not accomplish a lot. Nobody was willing to help bring them closer in "striking distance" - for different reasons. Jason Short (MSU) ended up winning the race and no, he didn't get lucky, he was the smartest that day and always has the legs, just finally could show it to the rest of us. The GC got shuffled quite a bit and I ended up 5th, so did Sheri in the Women's 1/2. Last year we each won our categories, this year both got 5th. Funny how that goes :-)

Check out this cool clip from the guys of Austin Bikes!

1 comment:

  1. To bad I couldnt be there to help. Thats a really fun race between the loooong naps, texmex and racing.