Sunday, May 4, 2008

Gila Stage 5 - Gila Monster Road Race

The end is near. Today was the 70 mile Gila Monster stage.

The 4's rolled out in jovial fashion and we were all chatting it up and having a good time. A break went off pretty early and I was pretty happy about that since they would swallow up the sprint time bonuses. I was on the front as the break went off, and someone put their hand on my back as if to tell me to chase it. I chuckled and told them to have at it because I certainly wasn't going to chase.

The pack stayed together for along time, which made for some crowded roads later on. The riding was a little sketchy because everyone decided that suddenly on the last day they needed to be at the front and try to improve their GC spot.

Right after the feed zone (around 40 miles into the race) Rob got a flat. He was in front of me and I saw him pull off. I pulled off Dukes of Hazzard style into the dirt and gave Rob my wheel since he was better placed on GC than me. Ross had seen us stopped on the road and he slowed down to pace Rob back up to the field. It was all a pretty pro affair.

My wheel change was fairly slow, and they gave me a tank of a wheel to ride on. I chased with a small group for the next 10 miles and we finally caught the main field at the base of the decisive climb of the day. I was pretty blown from the chase, but I managed to climb okay still. I caught a lot of people, and eventually made it up to Rob and Jason. Jason was climbing strong and finished with a small group a minute ahead of me. Rob and I road with another guy for a bit, and finally Rob pulled the rip cord finished solo. I finished side by side with Taylor from RMRC.

I finished in 28th overall, and Rob finished in 26th.

In the 3's race, Blue Sky controlled the peloton for a large portion of the race and kept the pace slow while Jeremy tried to break away. Jeremy had a good gap, but eventually he got caught on the Sapillo climb. At the end of the day, Barry finished at 10th place on GC. Congratulations Barry on an awesome race!

After the race, we hung out at Rob's parent's place for some burgers, brats, and copious amounts of recovery beer. The team owes a lot of thanks to Rob Sr. & Susan Love, Marty, and Stuart for their logistic and feed zone support. I saw plenty of teams relying on neutral support, and it was so nice to have our own dedicated support team.

Hard riding, brats and beer work their magic on Jose and Rob Sr.:

The 2008 Gila is over. Who's in for next year?

1 comment:

Jeremy Duerksen said...

I finally wrote up a few of my comments here: on each days race from my point of view - Jeremy