Finally got back from Pennsylvania. We had to make a couple of stops on the way back to drop off a crew at Superweek and such. Today has been dedicated to fixing all the things screwed up at work, unpacking, and fixing bikes. Tomorrow is dedicated to a slow and recovery-styled ride, and catching up on team business.
The Tour has been action packed and Contador is the dude in the mountains. Sure, "Chicken" may have the polka dots but Alberto is the "angel." More to come from him I am sure
Seven Springs was a pretty nice place. It is kinda of a rundown version of a western ski resort but it is peaceful all the same. As the picture shows.....typical condos. Our team stayed in Johnstown, which has nothing going on but a serious amount of traffic lights. Johnstown is one of the many famous Tour of Altoona landmarks. The Holiday Inn was nice and we had Versus so who can complain. With a couple of days off between events we got some good riding in and got to watch some criterium action with the Juniors and U-23 riders. Mark is clearly excited around anything to do with a criterium. I was trying to get Harper to flash the foil Rudy Projects for you but he turned his head as if he knew a photo was being taken.
With one picture left before my batteries died I snuch a quick shot of Jimmy Mac riding strong on the front. He rode a strong criterium but may have burned a few too many matches early on. Still, definitely one of the stonger riders in the Juior 17-18 pack.
Our Elite Road Race was a brutal one. We got to Seven Springs in the morning. I got dressed up and rode to the start but had some seriously dead legs. I know the feeling and knew that I had to get some mental game to overcome the certaintly of dead legs. The race got going on time and the world of climbing began. Teammates Andy Applegate, Rich Harper, Tim Swain, Mark Hekman, Ryan Gamm, and Marco Aledia were all in attendance. The first lap left us down to three riders or so going into lap two. Understand, this was a brutal course. I decided to patrol the front which I hoped would keep Hekman off the front. Gamm took up the sweeper position so we had the three key areas of the pack covered. I covered a few attacks, bridged a couple, and rode tempo. Hekman wisely maintained tempo and Gamm checked on our well-being. Going into lap three my bad legs were still not cleared out. We hit the 65 mph downhill, took the sharp narrow turn into the woods, and came out on the first long climb. A gap was started and that was it for me. I popped. It didn't take much at that point. By mid lap I was catching a group until I cramped. I simply misjudged my hydration during the race due to some elevation, heat, and dry air. I had to pull the throttle back and just ride it in. I saw dudes all over stopped and screaming at their cramped legs. Hekman finished 15th, I was somewhere behind that, and then Gamm. Again, like the TT, I am disappointed with myself. I had good hydration two days out but I think I froze my legs up in the colder weather as we watched the crits the night before. Who knows? Some days like that just happen. Big thanks to Carmen and Jim Behrens for the feeds. I should have taken more!
After the race I was driven back to the condo since I was so messed up there was no way I was riding. I came into the finish and asked Swain for bottles, Andy for a Clif Bar, and Harper for a chair. I was on the verge of system shutdown. Sorry if I was being forceful. I just didn't want tip over on the gravel. A fellow passenger to the condo with me, Eric Marcotte from GP, was in the same boat. We both got back to the condo and played "shammy time" for an hour while eating everything in sight and working out our physical turmoil. It was brutal. My type of course but not my typical day on the saddle. Things were just not right.
Next up? Superweek for a few days and probably 24 Hour Nationals. Not sure on that one though quite yet. Then a training block before our Downer's assault.
Get well Brandon Gavic. Teammate Brandon Gavic took a spill at Superweek and has re-joined the collarbone club.
I need a place to stay for Chequamegon. Anyone have a lead? Let me know. Ciao -Ian