Finally back and settled in after the Bahamas. I had gotten in a total of 250 miles of riding, 3 races, one giant trophy, and a crispy sunburn all in before I knew it and I was back in my bed at home. It was a hectic 4 days.
Quick recap of the racing:
Saturday Morning was a 4.5km time trial over a flat out and back course. No areo equipment made this one difficult to keep pace with those on full rigs, but a top 20 and good power made this a successful effort.
Saturday Afternoon was a 80km circuit race. Very fast and many attacks littered this race. I had bike issued this race with a chain that would not stay seated on the big chain ring, and I was limited to not standing. Made it interesting. My teammates did a fabulous job jumping on any move going. The field sprint Clayton, Geronimo and myself got together and Clayton did a great job getting G close and even take such a strong lead out that he could not pass in the fast finish. I tried standing in it and my chain popped into the little ring at over 40mph so I was slightly undergeared. Still a couple top 10's on the day.
Riding to and from the race. Courtesy geronimok
Sunday was the bid daddy. The 170km road race that feels even longer that do to the fact that it's February and the long training rides in the north are hard to come by this time of year. No need to fear though our team did an amazing job taking turns covering the moves so we weren't all burnt by the finish. Geronimo and Big Willy started it off by being in the early move with a very lazy peloton in the beginning. I was actually suprised that wasn't the race as it all eventually came back together with half the race remaining. From there on it was group after group after split after regrouping going on. Riders would kill it in the cross wind, but luckily I had Clayton would sit with me on his wheel right up front. It would go a long way to having some energy in the tank come the finish.
The final move that stuck was with 25km to go when Farrar took off and soloed in. Just after he went I got in a move with 3 others, one was Vande Velde, so it was up to the three of us to chase. Unfortunately the one guy had no interest in helping at all it was just two of us trying to catch. Then before I knew it everyone was sitting on so in the cross wind section I had to hit it hard to try to go in at alone. This came with a bit of success and was mighty painful as Vande Velde was able to bridge back up, but with only one on his wheel. From there they continued to sit on as I was the only one willing to work. I was going hard, but not all out as I didn't want to get jumped and tow others to the line. Just before a little riser that happened to be 3km to the finish I figured one of them was going to attack so I sat up a bit and soft pedalled and sure enough Vande Velde through down a hard attack. I got on his wheel and hung on over the top and it was just the two of us going to finish. I was "able" to take second place on the stage. With that ride I ended up moving into a surprising 3rd overall. I say surprising because I never expected it, but on the other hand with the way the road race played out, and with they way we road as a team, it's what I would expect.
Vande Velde and myself 1km before the finish. Courtesy geronimok
It was a great couple of races and the team is way better then last year in terms of the way we road together and the team unity seems to be very good. I can't wait to get everyone together. We should have a very successful year. Sorry for the bland race report. To tired to be creative and its been a few days since, so just wanted to get it up.
P.S. Walking through an airport with a trophy is quite an experience.