Wednesday, May 2, 2012

gila stage 1

the first stage of the tour of the gila was yet another not so enjoyable day for me. The not so great days are becoming a little to common so i need to pull my finger out and start racing and not just riding. I felt very good going into the race today and had all the right feelings in my legs to finally break this far from impressive racing performance period. I light of feeling great i approached the stage with a positive outlook and an expectation that i would be at the front. The day was in reality the type of day i dispise most, first day of a tour with an entirely fresh peleton and a small breakaway forming very early meaning that the stage was ridden at a pedestrian pace. This all makes positioning and preparing for difficult sections all the more chaotic, specially when we only have 4 riders as appose to the 8 on apposing teams. Basically half the weight to throw around. Having dsaid that we and i should have been more than capable of being at the front when required and that was were i found myself today. After a 140km drag race we hit the final 10km climb and on what i knew to be the crucial crosswind section 4km from the top i was safely tucked in the leading group of about 8 riders and felt like all was going to plan. I had suffered hard to be there and knew at altitude i had to be carefull not to go too deep into the red as you cannot recover from it. It was too late for that as i had had to go deep just to make what i flet would be and turned out to be the decisive split and now just had to tuff it out for the final 4km. At this point things went wrong. As the lull hit our small group, two of my old team mates from local domestic team bissal hit the gas which sparked the action. This is also the moment i made my first error! instead of following these two guys i hesitated in the safety of our small group and left it for the united health care boys who had 2 riders to react which they did and ultimately won the stage. When they lifted the pace i was suddenly out of position a little bit as a few riders had closed the gap to our group during the lull and swamped. These guys quickly got dropped again but with me now behind them meant i was also dropped and now going full gas to close the small gap. At this point i went way over my limit at altitude and was intantly gasping with every open orifus for air and my body just would not give me any more turbo time. I started slipping back and with it the adrenaline of being at the front of the race and with this i kept falling further and further back till i realized the front was long gone and i would st up and relax and save my enery for the very hard 4 stages still to come. This is somthing i am not proud off as it is a race i want to be at the front and not be playing for the lottery of getting lucky in the stage. Unfortunately the domestic mentality of getting my leader to the front and then relaxing and saving energy is too deeply engrained in me and i need to shake it out as that is not so much my role on this team. Anyway today was a big missed opportuntity and i am the first to take responsibility for it. Somtimes you forget everybody is suffering and i have certainly had my fair share of days suffering beyond what i could imagine. On this occassion the united health and bissal boys really layed it down when it was a hard mans point to do it so i need to go and drink a big bucket of concrete and start getting back amongst the action!!! cjw