Thursday, May 7, 2009
The racing has been all I had expected, fast, hard, and chaotic. Stage one was a wet 3 lap95 km stage with one big climb every lap. The first time up the climb I thought I was going to be dropped, my legs were dead from all the travel and lack of time on the bike in the days prior. On the second lap however I along with everyone on the team felt better, we rode at the front not letting anything get too far up the road. The same was for the final lap and the group was all together going into the final 10km. With just under 10km to go a group of 6 got away containing no Americans. However, with 5km left Andrew gave a good dig at the front and almost bridged across but came up short and was swallowed up by the chasing pack in the final km. The group of six finished 23seconds off the front, but all the other Americans finish in the chasing group and upright.
Stage 2 brought better weather and another hard race. On the deciding 10km climb the field had a massive separation. Charlie made the lead group over the top and I was just behind. Austin, Ryan, Jacob, and Andrew (who suffered a hard crash in the first 6km and held on to the car but caught back up going 70kmph). I eventually made it to the lead group with the help of a draft off the team car. From there on Charlie and I took turns following attack which was hard being that Belgium had 5 riders and almost every other country had 3-4 riders. At 20km to go a group of six got off the front. We followed and attempted to bridge across however all were unsuccessful. Four more riders managed to bridge across to the leaders in the final km’s, and Charlie and I finished in the following pack. Jacob, Ryan, Austin and Andrew finished in the next group 2-3 minutes behind.
Tomorrow morning is the time trial and Charlie and I are both looking for a good ride to move us up in the results.