The 2012 Kit

The 2012 Kit

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tour of South Africa, Stage 1 Report

hi everyone. i'm excluding a proofread and giving myself all sorts of exceptions on grammer and what have you. i have 20 minutes to give you the deal on what's been going on. 2 weeks before i left for SA i went to san diego and entered the boulevard road race and the red trolley criterium the day after. i have a race report that i wrote for all of you that unfortunately i didn't get online because of spotty internet and limited time. my results respectively were 1st and 7th.

february 15th, i traveled to south africa. never been here before. there are a lot more black people than there are in vermont, but not as many as there are in baltimore, md. i'm getting ready for stage 2 tomorrow. we are 10 hrs ahead. i had a 2 hr flight to san fransisco (from santa barbara), then a 10.5 hr flight to munich, and then another 10.5 from there to johannesburg, sa where i am now. we started and finished in town today - a 155k course.

i was trying my legs on the first kom and was 5th or 6th coming over the top (my legs feel like a beaten pulp). the winner of the race and 1 other were a few meters up ahead and pushed over the top. thinking they would never stay away from a strung-out field, i didn't bury myself to bridge that gap, but kristian house attacked his companion and soloed in for the finish well ahead of the field. it was a dangerous move, but feeling lethargic and it being only the first stage, it made more sense to wait out for the field sprint and try our luck with sprinters alexei schmidt and martijn verschoor.

scott and i lined it up on the front. we came in with the sprinters on our wheel with 2km to go. having studied the race bible. we understood that the last 3 km had 3 roundabouts and a few other corners. it would be very technical. when we came around a gradual left hand bend and started an uphill grind, i pulled through and ended up gapping the field with the exception of 1 eurocar rider who was on my wheel. i hesitated and asked him to roll through (thinking maybe we'd work for a couple of k until the finish), but then there was a banner up ahead!!! too soon, i thought! no way was the finish 200m from now! well, a group jumped me and i figured maybe it was a 1k to go banner. so i chased their wheels, but there was martijn, too. i finished 7th in the kick, putting me 8th for the day. martijn was 5th. what the hell happened? everyone on team type 1 rolled through dazed and confused. we had a perfect setup despite the circumstances. in fact, what had happened, is that we had all looked at the race vehicle detour and assumed that as the race route! we confused which way we went, and the finish was in fact sooner than we anticipated, and far less technical. next time we will look closer...but that was the issue we faced today. a few of us were really frustrated, but that's how it goes.

my legs don't feel very good. i felt great at boulevard road race, but now, after a flight like that, my body feels a little lethargic and i'm trying to get used to a 10hr time difference. i think it will take 1-2 more days before i am going fine again. until then, i'm going to be smart and a bit conservative - there are still 6 race days left.

tomorrow is 166km. it will be aggressive. after that, we come back to the hotel, shower, get on a train to the airport, take a 7:40pm flight to a different town, and have a rest day on monday. the team staff will drive for 12 hrs and meet us at the hotel with all equipment. pretty wild stuff.

i met phil liggett. you know, the announcer that's on tv for the tour de france who works with paul sherwin. he's announcing here. uniquely, though, i was urinating in the hotel bathroom before a training ride. he entered, and unzipped to do the same. i looked over and our eyes met (very uncouth). well, he struck up conversation and i told him that i saw him on tv a lot and that my college friends would get a kick out of that story.

i'll get back to you with more. for now, i have to do all sorts of emailing. i'm trying to go to europe after this race because i'm racing in belgium on the 16, 18 march. going back to california for 2 weeks will be a waste of time and energy between. i MUST change my itinerary!

goodnight and goodday.

all the best, will

1 comment:

  1. Will, well your phil liggett story reminds me that i may not have ever had the opportunity to share my brush with a cycling commentator. Before a MTB race in Durango, Bob Roll and I almost literally crossed swords when we each approached the same corner of a building from adjacent sides simultaneously ready to let it flow. "Whoaaa!!!" was the only conversation we actually had however...