Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Done w/ the Fluff

Finished off stages 2 & 3 without too much trouble. Could have been better for us, I guess, but not too bad nonetheless. Stage 2 went like this: really fast first 70k until a group got off that the peloton was relatively happy with (or just too tired to respond). Then we went really friggin slow for the next 2 hours, letting the 3 breakaway dudes maintain a lead. Then, of course, it got really stinkin fast for the last hour. Overall, not to bad of a stage except that my body HATES going hard, easy, hard on rides/races. It's like the engine just shuts off during the easy portion and I sit there cranking on the starter to no avail when it gets hard again. I'd rather it just stay hard the whole way (done whining). Teddy came up just short of the KOM jersey behind Pipp near the end of the stage so that was bitter-sweet. And Jeremy got hit by a Toyota team car late in the stage after a pee break. He is okay, just a little scratched, bruised and irritated.
Stage 3 was a similar stage on paper to st. 2: 175k or so with no categorized climbs. However, in reality st. 3 was a bear! The 2nd half of that stage had some serious rollers (re: leg-busters) and then finished up on a killer 3k up and down circuit that we did twice. We averaged 44kph (27.5 mph) for a stage of about 110 miles. Ouch. One reason it was so fast is because Zwiza and his 3 breakaway companions must have been KILLIN it out front. They were hella-strong today. Hats off to them.
On a more somber note, fellow front range Coloradan Timmy Duggan suffered a nasty crash today on a fast descent. Word is that he broke a few bones and is hemorraging from the brain. He is in ICU and they are watching him closely but every indication is that he didn't suffer brain damage and he is expected to recover. We're thinking about you, buddy. GET WELL!!!
Next up is the team time trial tomorrow. We're hoping and expecting to shine in this event, it's just a matter of racing smart and communicating well. Then it's on to the hardest stages 5 & 6 which contain a ton of climbing and will be where the GC is separated out. So like I said, done w/ the fluff and on to the meat of the race -Game on!!

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