Well, last weekend was the Tour of Granite County near St. Cloud. We were fortunate enough to have the full team there and take hold of the race. The 8-mile TT started it all off and I finished 2nd while teammmate Dougo won. We both had really good times so it set the tone for the remainder of the race. Stage 2 was a circuit race with big time bonuses after each lap. They key was the time bonuses. Plan in place, we were able to snatch up man of those. Micah got into a late break but had to settle for second in the end. Still, great read on the move. Stage 3 was a road race. GP got aggressive with Hanna, Dale, and Pellis hitting us hard and making us think. Jens was the highest GP man and was riding strong. We screwed up a little in the middle but got it back together. We burned though everyone on the team keeping things together. Casper and Mean Dawg busted their asses on the front while Lance, Micah, and Matt went after everything. In the end Doug and I stayed with the lead group. Doug went on a small flier with Lance Niles and another rider which allowed me to sit back and cover Jens. Approaching the 3K to go I ended up on the front setting tempo to chase two riders. Doug told me that we needed to get going so I pushed a little harder. We caught them and then Doug gave me the word, "GO!" I kicked it down just enough not to blow up and get gapped as soon as the field came around me. I dragged it to the 200m mark and then Doug bolted around for the sprint win and overall. I kept the gap and maintained second overall. I great ride for the team and perfect use of the various talents on it. Great ride by GP's Jens Brabbit, Brone's Bike Shop Lance Niles, GP's Pete Hanna for the relentless attacks, Nature Valley's Tony Olson.
The time trialing has been going good and the training block I am currently in has been a tough one but beneficial all the same. You have to do the work. After pricing out the trip to Elite TT Nats I have come to realize that I simply do not have to money to get there. Airfare, rental car, gas, hotel, entry, food.....I am looking at $700......but for a National Jersey. Hmmm? I know I can podium the thing and I am sure I could possibly win it. It comes down to this. It is in Los Angeles. USA Cycling didn't have their thinking caps on when they placed the race here. It is on the far side of the country, it is a super-metro area, and it is not convenient for most people to attend. It is not a good representation of the rider-pool in the USA. To fly there I would need the money, a fluid trainer, get my aero wheels there, etc. While I could bring my A-game their physically, my mentality would be challenged. Hectic environments bode ill for time trials. We'll see. If I find a last second solution to the $$$ I will still be ready to go. Plus, Matt scored me my small long-sleeved skinsuits. Word for today is: FAST.
This weekend is the MN State Crit. I never have been a fan of the course because you can see everything. Still, I like the layout of it. Other than that I have to work a lot this weekend. I went to the vet. yesterday for my cat. $126.00 for antibiotics? I need health insurance on my cats, not me. Next weekend will be back to the family cabin Friday and then to Hayward/Cable Saturday for a Cheqfest course preview.
Speaking of mountain bikes, did you see the photos of the new Trek Top Fuel SL? Or how about the Bontrager XXX carbon mountain bike wheels? Holy Jeez. Someone at Trek was drinking their coffee. Ciao -Ian