Thursday, April 30, 2009

Breathing thin Air @ Gila

After two weekends of successful Crit&Road racing in DFW I made the trip out to Tour of the Gila with my "pseudo-teammates" from Alabama of Team Tri-Star. Thanks to Slovakian Miro (and his Nissan Titan V8) the drive was not bad at all and we talked a lot about the "old times" in the Eastern Block and cycling of course.

Mike Olheiser is our GC man here as he finished 10th last year and usually does REALLY well in the NRC races across the country. He got some (Master) Rainbow Stripes on his jersey, too. Stage 1 to Mogollon wasn't so bad until we made the final right turn towards the climb. Thanks to some prominent riders in the field the pace was "on" and all I could do was delivering Mike to the wheels of the Mellow Johnny's guys before riding my own pace. Was fun, though and I was glad I had the 39x27 this time around. Congrats to other Texans John Coppin (2nd in the 2's) and "College" Korioth (3rd 40+) who had a good ride that day. Afterwards we had some pizza & meat lasagna at Silver City Brewery Co. Our waiters name was "Trainee" - poor girl!

Stage 2 did not had any steep climbs in the profile but the onces we did climb were ridden really fast courtesy of Horner & Armstrong. 10K after the start you're already at 7000ft going the first time over the Continental Divide - and you still had 120K to go. It got more "comfortable", though a little bit later and once the break of the day was gone we could take a little breather and just ride. The Valley along NM HW 35 is quite a scenery and I could actually enjoy it a little bit since we were going "tempo" rather than full on race mode at that point. The field was already down to 80 guys at that point, so we must have gone somewhat fast at least? Like last year, it came down to a field sprint but since the wind was not as bad on HW 180 a large group made it to the line together. Landis's group got caught with 1K to go and tried to stay safe behind the Colavita & OUCH trains. For me it was'nt a sprint, more like a drag to the line - in the gutter and just holding onto the wheels in front of me. Ended up 24th on the day and Mike made it also safely in the bunch of 80guys.

post-Stage 2 @ at Ft. Byard

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