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Gila Stage Three - The Lance & Levi Show at the ITT

The Gila is sure different when Lance & Levi show up. Our little time trial was generally a pretty dull little thing in years past. This year, the parking lot in Tyrone was overflowing. People were three deep around Lance's bus, even with no idea when he would ever come out.

Eventually, Levi won the time trial with a course record of 32:59. Tom Zirbel was second almost a minute back Lance was 1:23 back. Young Peter Stetina pulled off a 5th place ride. The crowds couldn't get enough of Lance and Levi, practically ignoring Chris Horner who really was the man of the day yesterday, spending all day at the front, controlling any escapes (Floyd Landis was caught just a kilometer from the finish on Thursday).

The 40+ field didn't race for another three hours after the pro's. By then the calm air had turned into aTour of the GIla 2009 056  nasty, gusty crosswind. At the last minute, I decided to replace my front aero wheel with a shallow-rimmed Bontrager. And last night I put on my massive pie plate of a fiftty-eight tooth front chainring: always useful on the final four mile, straight-as-an-arrow descent. Unfortunately none of the equipment helped. I never managed to get rolling - maybe ten guys passed me.over the next 49 minutes. After the first half dozen of them went by it was pretty hard to keep up my motivation and pain. That still didn't stop me from doing 45-48 mph on the final four miles, bombing the descent with a 58/11 that I couldn't spin out while tucked in behind the arrow bars that I had just recently set up even narrower than before. And that low-profile bontrager front wheel was rock solid in the cross-wind. It was oh-so-sweet to have the last four miles pass by so much faster than the first four miles.

Michael Carter did a thirty-seven on the course, just a few seconds faster than Jame Carney. Korioth slipped from third to fourth on GC, after David Zimbelman ((a 50+ rider) smoked him. Our own Kurt Bickel was three seconds faster than Korioth and held onto 7th overall. Joel Grimmett stayed in sixth, with Roger Worthington still in fifth. Kevin Barton did a great ride tha moved him up two places to thirteenth on GC.

Tour of the GIla 2009 063 Tonight, six of us went out to eat at Shevek's. When Kevin ordered a German beer from our extremely gay waiter, he asked Kevin if he wanted it served in the traditional German style - with a big head. Kevin simply demurred that he would like it however it would be best served. To which the waiter responded that he always liked a big head, and also with his beer. That set Kevin back a little, being the traditional air force guy that he is. He managed to recover though, and got himself a big-headed beer. The food was outstanding as well.

Tomorrow is the downtown criterium. I have an early race at 10:40 in the morning. The pro's will go off in the late afteroon. There's always a crowd at the crit - with Lance there this year, it will be one solid square mile of jammed in people. Our hotel is inside turn four of the crit, about 400 yards from the finish. It should be a great show. I'll treat the crit as a recovery day. I'll let Jame Carney and Korioth duke it out for the crit win. But Carter has less than a minute lead over Carney so he can't let those two go. Nor will Roger Worthington want to be denied. The result will be a race that is way too fast for my little girl legs. Ouch.
Tour of the GIla 2009 015
Thursday Night Dinner - Joe's Pro's, Geri Atrix, Bicycle Heaven

Tour of the GIla 2009 050
Yours Truly, in his Hotel Lobby

07:13 AM in Cycling | Permalink


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