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Tour of the Gila - Stage 1 Mogollon Road Race

Stage 1 got interesting about 50 miles into it. That's when most of us learned - Michael Carter (http://www.espcycling.com/Mikes/About_Us.html) included - that the mystery guy in the 3-up break up the road was Jame Carney (http://www.spinlitecycling.com/jame_carney.htm). He apparently switched over from the Pro/1 field at the last moment when Lance was confirmed as a starter and he got nervous about the time cut-offs. 

Suddenly our fairly tactical jump/chase/catch/stop race became a Michael Carter time trial event. At least the pace was smooth, if not comfortable. Bain and Bickel had already been pulled back in an earlier break attempt, as had Kevin Barton, and numerous others. Me, I just sat in and faunched over my little girl legs and my old lady lungs.

When we hit the last feed zone, just a couple miles from the final right turn onto the Mogollon climb, the peloton pretty much exploded. Carter got a few bike lengths clear w/ someone else, and I found myself in the 3rd chase group pedaling squares over the top of the feed zone hill. That was the last I saw of the leaders. I hear that MIchael Carter caught Carney near the top of the Mogollon to win the stage (by 9 seconds). Korioth, who had shrewdly escaped with Carney got 3rd, two or three minutes back . Kevin Barton managed 15th place in an outstanding ride only 5 minutes back. Kurt, who had been riding well all of yesterday and today, got a freaky cramp at the base of the Mogollon and was in an acrid mood all afternoon: the cramp was so bad he had to get off the bike for a minute b/f continuing. Of course I was already minutes behind him and never saw him. 

Bain caught up to me at the base of the Mogollon and we climbed mostly together to the finish in a group that varired b/t five people and two in size. My little girl legs were not great, but they held up for the whole climb and I only felt like throwing up once. Unlike last year, I never actually came close to plunging over the edge from sweat constantly dripping in my eyes and blinding me; instead that happened to Tom (the sweat, not the plunging). And unlike last year, my legs didn't lock up into rigor mortis after I crossed the finish line in oh....  33rd place. Actually that's one place and seven minutes better than last year.

Oh yeah, in that other race, Lance launched Levi to victory over Peter Stetina. He finished down 1:40.

So far I've neither gained nor lost weight since I've arrived. That's a good thing. I was parched all night from the dry air even though I kept a water bottle next to the bed and had to get up to pee several times. We'll see where I'm at in another couple days of this.

Tomorrow - a 78 mile loop that looks like this:
Stage 2 Profile

07:20 PM in Cycling | Permalink


Great results Frank! Stage 2 looks pretty brutal, hopefully your little girl legs developed overnight into big boy legs.

Posted by: Matt | Apr 30, 2009 2:13:51 PM

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