Before I dig into the race updates, I want to tell you about a hard man named Chris Chartier. Last night Chris had Isaac throw some new bar tape on his bike and for some reason once we started racing, Chris' bike would hardly shift. He was basically stuck in his 15 tooth cog in the back He was rocking a 2 speed for the day, 53X15 and 39X15. For most mortals this would be an insurmountable task, given the days parcours. Hard Men like Chris don't give an F about gears. Chris pounded the 15 tooth over the tough climbs and rolled it at the front almost every time I looked up. He put in a pretty big effort on the day, but was a super impressive teammate today.
As far a race reports go, I was supposed to be our "GC" guy for the week and the team did a great job working for me, I just dropped the ball hard. I had a bad day at the absolute worst time. I don't normally cramp and didn't think they would be an issue, but I locked up on the 2nd to last climb and got popped off the back of the dwindled peleton. It was pretty embarrassing to suck with all eyes on me and the help of my teammates at my disposal. Isaac put in a great ride and finished in the front group and made all of the important splits to keep himself as our highest GC rider, but the problem is that he has to leave the "Tour" on Friday to go home for his sisters wedding. So now with no GC hopes, we turn into "Stage Hunters", hoping to get some street cred for our efforts.
Today was another pretty tough little stage, with a very nice steep little kick to the finish, perfect for a little faux sprinter such as myself. There were 4 pretty tough climbs, that I felt better on than yesterday, but still no legs for the long break. Isaac had a nice turn off the front for about an hour, but then came back and some others moves went away for a bit. John Meyers was off the front for a good bit, and according to our calculations, should be in the green jersey tomorrow... yeah, like green sprinters jersey. Lucky for us, it all came back together and I got a crack at the hill with no one off the front. The run into the climb was super sketchy and there was some serious fighting going on at the front. This fighting lead to a pretty bad wreck about 6 or 7 wheels back, just inside a mile to go. All our guys go through it ok, but some of my friends on other teams took some pretty bad spills, hopefully they're all ok. Back to the sprint. So we hit the hill and I went hard. I passed some dudes, but not all of them. 2 guys were out of my reach, but still a bit of consolation after yesterdays poor showing. I still really want to win a stage, but I'll take a podium for tonight. The next two courses suit me pretty well, so hopefully I've got something up my sleeve in the next two days.
Since I forgot the appropriate cord to upload any photos, I will leave you with a stolen picture from Cyclingnews of me hiding behind John in the closing laps of the first crit.