Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tour De La Port Ocean- France

Immediately following my last race, (which went extremely well for me and the team) I came down with some sweet congestion in my head and chest. Just perfect timing really. I mean what good is riding well if something can't come along and screw it all up. Anyhow, the doc recommended a 3 day dose of antibiotics after only 2 days of bronchitis symptoms.

Ok, so here I am now in in Normandie, France at the Port Ocean 2.12 stage race. I felt ok on Thursday, so I decided to make the trip and just see how I felt in the race. Friday morning I was coughing up a storm and I realized I might have made a mistake in coming. Well, 15k into the race that realization was confirmed. I was just following wheels and then BAM! It wasn't my bike or a crash or anything. It was my legs and chest. I couldn't turn the legs over anymore, and I felt like I was breathing out of a straw. And not one of those big straws you get with a smoothie or something, I would compare this more to one of those tiny straws you get sometimes to mix your coffee. So I had to get in the broom wagon less than 30 minutes into the race. If that's not an acheivement I don't know what is.

So now I'm stuck in my hotel room while my roommate Mike Wolf is out with the rest of the team ripping the race up. Yesterday Nick Reistad made the break, or front group considering it was 26 riders, and got 7th(Hell yeah). Today they have double day with a 100k stage in the morning and a TT this afternoon. But I'll be here in my little hotel room. Awesome.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Victory in Vinkt

I won my first race in Europe today. It was a kermesse in Vinkt Belgium. Here's the report:
With over a week without racing, it was time to get back into it with a Kermesse today. So the boys(Wolf, Crane and Riggs) and I opted to head to Vinkt for an U23 Kermesse. After an hour bike ride out to the race, we meet up with Chris (AKA Fox) at the race to top off our bottles and get some race food. The race was 21 laps of a 5.3k circuit. It was windy, so the race was sure to blow up early on. From the gun we had all our guys at the front. Crane was the first to cover a move with two Lithuanian guys and one bodysol. I quickly covered the next move to go across with one bodysol. Riggs was the next to join our group. So the break was 7 strong, 3 of which were U23 USA national team. Everyone was pulling evenly to get away from the chasing group behind. After about 65k, we were hit with a torrencial downpour. Thunder, lightning and blinding rain didn't stop our group though. We just kept rolling and distancing ourself from the rest. With 6 laps to go, Crane covered one of the Lithuanian riders who started the attacking. That was quickly brought back, and I countered and got away with one of the Bodysol guys. We matched pulls for the next few laps, and got out of site from the rest of the breakaway. With two laps to go, I wanted to try getting rid of him though, so I started attacking him. After about 5 tries with no luck, I decided to wait for the sprint. On the last lap, I was leading with 2k to go. He definitely didn't want to do anymore pulling at this point, so I started going really slow. I mean we almost came to a stop with 1k to go. With the rest of the breakaway approaching fast, he had no other choice but to start leading out the sprint. Finally I gambled on something and won. He took me to about 150 meters and I just drilled it around him. It felt good to finally pick up a win over here in Belgium. With the last block of racing coming up, I'm looking forward to trying to rack up some more.