Saturday, May 5, 2007

5/5/07 - Day 5 of the Gila - Gila Monster

DSC_1485, originally uploaded by duerkboy.

The last day of the Tour of the Gila - the Gila Monster. Our SM3 Goal was to hang through the first hills, then soon as we hit the Mimbres valley, Will and Barry were going to drive the front, me in 3rd and we'd gutter all the stinkin' climbers who will inevitably kick ass on the climb.

Everything went as planned except for the wind. Usually its a strong crosswind that gutters everyone except the hardcore breaks of which there are always numerous attacks through the valley since its the last day. But Will and Barry - pro tour like drove the front of the group at 23 mph average straight into a headwind for over 45 minutes. With no crosswind the plan didn't really work - no one got guttered. But they kept the pace so that high the group stayed strung out single file the entire valley!! Other riders later said they were amazed and "finally a real road race" "you're team looked totally PRO", etc. But the climbers just got to sit back in the draft and although nobody could break, it all stayed together and we didn't drop anyone that I know of. We got to the foot of the Sapillo climb and Will came blowing by me yelling "get on my wheel". I did and got the best ride of the day around the final flat corner and straight into the climb. Unfortunately, my lungs were blowing (a bad head cold took firm grasp only a few hours later, so the beginning of a cold was swooping in). I gave it my best but immediately got swarmed by 40 some guys. A group of 3 or 4 went off the front and nobody ever saw them again. I rode by myself and just kept getting passed. Finally I caught my breath and started picking them off again. I tried working with a few small groups - 2s and 3s, but until I joined up with some junior from Boulder. He and I pacelined for a good 10 miles down descents up climbs and flats. This is actually a real fun climb - not all steep climbing, but fun winding forested roads and sweeping turns. Unfortunately, when you're as strung out as I was, I noticed absolutely nothing. Kay dropped me on the last pitch and I just dug in and held my place through the finish. Not a brilliant day, but as for team tactics it played out perfectly - Will and Barry did an awesome job.

Katie stuck right at the front of her field and Rob and Jose put in great races as well.

Results are here:

Check out pictures from the whole Tour here:

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