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Gila Stage Four - Downtown Criterium

Awright!  This crit was a good day in the saddle. Of course I was worried about how fast it would be. And my early morning warm-up felt horrible: I had zero energy. But once I was out there, I was fine, even though I really wasn't a player. Sixty minutes of only moderately intense pain. I was never dropped, although it was getting pretty grim around lap ten of our twenty minute race. The last lap was blistering as Korioth kicked off the last attack, resulting in a crushing final mile. On the back side I could see the field splintering up ahead; I was powerless do anything but keep pedaling; no telling what was going on behind. I managed my standard mediocre twenty-fifth place or so. Kurt Bickel pulled out 7th place. Bain got eleventh. But Jame Carney won it. 

I spent the rest of the day gawking at the Lance spectacle. Fans were ten deep around his mobile home an hour before his race. Lance appeared for about six seconds, then Leipheimer appeared and signed autographs for a few minutes. All the while, Johann Brunyeel was just calmly standing in the door of the motor home.

The Pro/1 race was great to watch. I stayed away from the start finish area so I don't know how big the crowds were. Actually the crowds in the start/finish were already huge for the kiddies races, so the must have been really large for Lance. On the backside of the course, which has a nice little hill in it,  I got some phenomenal shots of the race, particularly of Lance, who was near the front for most of the race. I'm just pissed that I forgot my damn camera cable so I can't dump my photos to the computer and upload them for viewing right now. It will have to wait until I get back to Austin. 

Nothing was very successful at staying away, although Ben Day held onto a twenty second advantage for at least ten of the forty lap race. Eventually he was swallowed back up. Floyd Landis spent practically the whole race at the back of the pack until he launched a big attack near the end. But he was reeled in by the Mellow Johnnies bunch just like anyone else who tried anything.  I was in turn two at the end of the race and several riders stacked it up there on each of the last two laps, including Chris Horner. But he looked okay and finished the race. Due to the crashes, all the riders still in the pack w/ two to go got the same time.

Tour of the GIla 2009 077 Tonight we ate at a little restaurant run by a friend of mine in Silver City. He calls his menu Asian Fusion, but with the racers in town he also put on some pasta. I had a mild chicken curry that was perfect for racing - lots of protein and carbs, low in fat. But then we followed that up with some espresso chocolate cake - so much for my slim girlish figure.

Tomorrow is the final stage of the race - 72 miles, three categorized climbs. If I can just get over the first one without getting shelled then I'll be happy with whatever happens after that. Then it's a quick exit from Silver City to spend the night at Balmorhea State Park. So the final race report may be delayed a little.

Final Stage Profile

09:02 PM in Cycling | Permalink


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