Thursday, May 31, 2007
The final Stage of this glorious stage race ended with a 109 mile route that finishes on a 5km summit finish. That would make for an exciting race cause my yellow jersey was just a 19 ahead of 2nd place Neil Shirley(Jittery Joes). The Jittery boys and Menzies kept the race in check and let a safe break get up the road. The roads were really nice, always going up and down and twisting. I ran into a bit of trouble about 25 miles to the finish when my rear derailer cable snapped. Luckily SRAM Neutral support was there and I went back for a neutral bike. The mechanic was super helpful and got me set up right away. 57cm, ok. Speedplays, ok. Seatheight, ok. And just like that I was off. I got a draft from the car and within minutes back in the race. It was a bit of different setup, but that's expected. Anyhow, after about 12 bottles of water(thumbs up for neutral feeding and about 7 feed zones), we got to the bottom of the final climb with the break caught. Cesar(Jittery) attacked almost right away to soften the group. Shirley, Pipp and I were glued to his wheel. He attacked again and this time he rolled off the front of us. It was Shirley's job to drop me, so he then started throwing in the attacks. He would attack, Pipp and I would cover. He attacked, we covered. This happened maybe 10 times. I stayed on the wheel until there was only 6 of us left(Shirley, Pipp, Me, Henriksen, S. Stewart-vmg, and herbalife). Cesar still up the road. With 1km to go it would seem Shirley had given up on getting rid of me. But then Herbalife rider attacked and it was the acceleration I just couldn't follow. Shirley saw I was behind and just drilled it to the finish. Pipp stayed glued to him. They caught Cesar with about 200 meters to the line and Pipp took the stage win. I winded up 7th, losing 49 seconds and subsequently the race overall. Pipp slid into 2nd and I fell to 3rd on GC. Menzies took the Green(Sprint) Jersey with me in 3rd and Pipp in 5th in that comp. A solid weekend for the boys getting ready for Philly week. Just one place in the GC higher would have been nice for us, but we gave it all we had. Next week is the real deal and we are rolling. Can't wait.
Monday, May 28, 2007
The stage 3 crit was downtown Nashville on a nice 6 turn course. We started the 75 min crit quickly by Menzies and Cesar Grajales(Jittery Joes) lapping the field in the first 30 minutes. Once they got back in the peloton everything was pretty much shut down. Menzies took the sprint and also the green jersey just ahead of Cesar. I'm still leading the GC with Pipp in 4th and Menzies moved to 6th. Tomorrow's 109 mile day with a mountain top finish might shake things up a bit.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Stage 2 was a 107k Circuit race. The 6 laps of the 18k course was rolling, always up and down. A break of 11 got away by the second lap, with Frank Pipp and myself in there. We stayed away and put almost 4 minutes into the peloton. Frank set me up perfectly getting off the front over the last few kilometers with Edy Hilger(Juris). Neil Shirley(Jittery Joes) and Nick Reistad(Jelly Belly) were forced to chase. Hilger and Pipp were caught with about 500 meters to go and Pipp immediately jumped again to lead me out. I took the win ahead of Dirk Pohlman(Krystal) and Shirley. Hilger and Pipp rounded the top 5. I also took the GC lead as well as the points. The crit is next with a 109 mile RR on Monday.