The 2012 Kit

The 2012 Kit

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rock You Like a Hurricane

The last stage. As Irene sweeps over the East Coast, TT1 will be storming Colorado for the last time, fighting for another stage victory.

Yesterday happened. It was a hard race from the gun and by the end, only 50 made it over the final lump in the road with 15km to go to fight for the stage. TT1 had 2 in that final group: Javier and Vladimir, but we came up a bit short. I was in a small group of 12 or so just behind. Here's a video clip that recaps a bit of the stage. I'm starring in it!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Friday, August 26, 2011

Queen Stage UPCC

My day:
I followed a lot of moves early on, pushing for the breakaway, but it wasn't going anywhere.
A horrific crashed on a cattle guard across the road sent teammate Daniele Callegarin home. He is recovering well in the Denver Hospital and his girlfriend is coming to keep him company. The team is down to 7 without Daniele and were lamenting his absence as today's stage would be one of the few that are better for a rider like Daniele: a handy guy in a bunch sprint.
The crowds on Cottonwood and Independence were extraordinary. On TV, I watched roads crowded with spectators divide as Tour riders screamed to the top of climbs. Racing here felt just like that. Even in a group further back, fans were equally emphatic. It is super motivating for the riders, and a great sign for the sport to see these die hard fans appearing in the USA!

The TT yesterday was lined almost the entire length with people. Vail's crowds around town and within the first K of the start tent were particularly exciting. I usually embrace the warmth that the crowds bring to us. In the start house, I toss my sipping-bottle to supporters as close as 10 seconds to the start. A small wave. 5 seconds to go I start breathing and the gun goes! You can do your job and have fun with it at the same time. It ain't all serious! I did nearly drop myself on the last turn out of town. I was doing a hell of a clip through town but we couldn't practice the course at much speed and I must've lost around 15 seconds nearly combing to a complete stop ion a big gear on a small incline. I was bogged down, but there was no need to really panic: I'm no contender for the win and I was also confident in my ability to finish within the time limit. Still, my TT abilities which remain one of my weaknesses are improving and each race is an opportunity to improve.

These final days these final 3 stages are the Team's real days to shine. We are going for the break and for stage wins. Success will come. Follow along on! Live video coverage.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Breathing through straws

8,000 ft. Only 1,000 ft to go before we arrive at start elevation(stage1)! Having done Tour of Utah, we're not ill-prepared, though racing groom 9,000-12,000 ft is a whole different animal than proud 5-6,000.

No service prevented that quick post yesterday AM.

I spent about 35-40 minutes in an attempt to bridge solo to a breakaway yesterday as the first attack I went with was stifled quickly. It had ~1min or so when I attacked and was within 15-20sec, but the would not wait seeing I was a threat to the KOM Jersey. Today is another day, though, and I'm not one to wait around, as you know. It's the queen stage of 210km today. Wish us luck! The GC will most likely be decided today, but a stage win or breakaway success is not out of the question.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The last supper

We had our last dinner before the USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE begins with tomorrow's 8.3km downhill time trial. Tonight, we're all doing what we do best before the excitement begins: surfing on our computers listening to music, catching up with family on the phone and, in the Efimkins' case, talking to his twin brother!

Tomorrow marks a day to present the teams to the onlookers and produce a basic General Classification construct. The winner tomorrow might not win the race overall, but a short individual prologue stage does a lot for setting a tone and taking out the jitters from a possibly nervous field. Personally, I feel very relaxed going into the race, but I know that it will be among the most challenging I will have ever done.

I'm going to get into the habit of including my daily breakfast on this thing for you. Today I had a couple of bowls of chopped fruit (peach, strawberries, cantaloupe) on Kashi Crunch! granola. I had a piece of bread smattered with Nutella, once I found that stash of gold. Coffee included.

Until tomorrow. Don't forget that I make updates during the day on Twitter under the @Will_Dragon. Log in, register for free and stay in touch that way as well to see photos I upload during the day. It's free and it takes 2 minutes.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Callegarin put the Italian into the pasta last night while I cooked on the grill at D.S. Michael Carter's house. Today we zipped over to the Crown Plaza race hotel in time for a short nap, massages, dinner and team presentation ceremony. Tomorrow, the race will start tomorrow.

PS I have el cellular back so call me, baby.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Colorado Prep

Having left my phone at the Texas Roadhouse after dinner tonight, I can't post all the gooey photos of today's ride for you. Well, I'll get to that. We saw Buffalo Bill's Grave at the top of Lookout Mtn, a climb we do on the last stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

I'm rooming with Alexander Efimkin, twin of Vladimir Efimkin (the newest addition to TT1). The two rode together on AG2R last year and are back racing together on TT1. A profile of a few new faces is due to you, including Danielle Callegarin, one of TT1's Italian riders that joined us in Scott Stewart's absence for this upcoming tour in Colorado. Scott has come down with something still to be determined and left the Tour of Utah early to go home to Michigan. I was sad to see my only American compatriot leave, but I've got to work on my italian sometime...

Wish me luck locating my cellular device.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Utah Finito

We crawled into the pain cave Utah provided and emerged unscathed, and hopefully stronger than we were before. The last day was incredibly difficult from the moment the nearby bank CEO who shot the starting gun, shot the gun. Within 15 minutes I thought I had given everything I had! And then I kept going. I surprised myself with the number of moves I could follow in the beginning of the race, but I knew that those efforts would take their toll. The team did a good job rotating and marking moves. To everyone's astonishment (not only the awe of Team Type 1 - Sanofi), no breaks went before the first climb! But, that left our lungs a-burnin' and our legs swollen in pain when the climb came. The KOM jersey no longer belonged to us, but up to the chance of the race up the road. And so we had fought for it early and risked our chips.

I fell off the back for the first 10 minutes and needed to recover, finding my own rhythm. As I climbed, I found a tempo I could hold, riding through groups of riders (debatably, it wasn't the most classy thing to do as I rode from a group that got in the broomwagon up to friend Jamey Driscoll and Kelly Benefit Strategies rider Jason Donald who rode with me at a decent clip for the last 40 miles). We actually, the 3 of us, rode so well together that we caught those that had gotten dropped from the front group on the final climb up to Snowbird. An aggravation comes over me when the word "Groupetto" rings: I can't settle just to ride and let the race go unless I have completely shut down. Not only is it defeating, but it almost serves no purpose. Why even finish? If I've got gas in the tank that I can find, I'll use it up before the end, that's it. So, I was mighty happy to ride through about 5 groups of riders by the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, happily finding a familiar riding partner in James and another for a more animated, enjoyable day skimming Utah's mountainous topography. There is an air about the Groupetto that can be fun in its laxity when your legs have lost all hope of energy, but I did that in 2009 on this very stage. This year, I wouldn't have it. It would've been too frustrating for me. I suppose I knew already that I had been riding a strong tour and that if my efforts were expended differently, I might have been fighting in the final group that rode 15 minutes ahead of us. There was that, and plus, why not get a little training in before the USA Pro Cycling Challenge next week in Colorado? The fun I had riding up on this day ended up being well beyond that of my favorite training loop. Check out what The Man in Camo had for me as I rode through a shute of awesome spectators at 4km to go!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Morning of The Queen Stage (5)

Yesterday, the field split up early and we had Javier and Rubens representing. It was a hot day and attrition took it's toll. With 5 laps to go of a 12km circuit (starting at 12 laps), the attacks from the peleton started. Unfortunately, going into 2 to go I found myself in poor positioning to make the selection, which was very frustrating. However, the race up front by the team was ridden nearly perfectly as we rounded 2nd and 3rd on the podium. Team Type 1 has photos of the race on facebook.

This morning is the hardest stage. 160km but a kills profile. We need Rubens in the break early to take KOM points and to secure his lead. I will do my best to be there with him. We are riding low profile wheels-the lightest setup for today's stage. Now, in the team bus, we're transferring to the race. Here are some shots. The one of me was from the hotel room after breakfast - a few relaxing moments: the calm before the storm.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stage 4 Utah

After a crazy day, I was a little disappointed in myself, but Ii know I am riding strong so....TOMORROW, ATTACK!!!!

Javier 2nd today, Rubens 3rd! Details to come!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

The Raw-ness of the Ride

In order to bring some readers closer to the sport and my experience as a growing rider, I want to try a few things. I want comments on this, also. I will include a few race-related shots if I can once in a while that show the behind-the-scenes activities of racers (in this case, me and a lucky, occasionally willing roommate). I'll include a shot of me shaving my legs this morning before race departure. Maybe I can get breakfast tomorrow for you. Today I had a cut up peach and banana with granola, walnuts and chopped almonds. 2 cups of coffee (yippee) and maybe a snack here and there of a few other things, but that was the meat of it. Before the race, I'll eat a delicious bacon, egg, cheese, chopped tomato combination sandwiched between a cinnamon raisin bagel buttered and jellied with some fig jam I spotted on the Liquigas-Cannondale table, courtesy of Ted King (found on Twitter @iamtedking). Food is our fuel and nutrition has been a growing interest in endurance sports over the last few years. Maybe a week or so of including my pre-race or training diets would help give perspective for others and help me realize some improvements I can make myself! Alora.

Time Trial Recap:
I was going about that hard and I finished 92nd... How's that for a summary?? A flat time trial on an F1 race course. It was hot and dry. My start time was 2 minutes before 6pm. One of the latest TT's I've ever done! Another day under the belt.

Our interest lies in keeping Rubens' KOM jersey and in winning a stage. We have 2 more to go. There are no KOM points awarded today (Stage 4), so the stage win will be a focus. You can follow on I believe.

Please participate in the poll above. I've kept it active until I return to the East Coast after the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Utah Prologue

Today was the prologue. It was a mere 2km, but as short as it was, it hurt more than a tooth filling without novacaine. Anyhow, I was 88th of 118 riders. The result is unimpressive, but not to worry, if I got down on a prologue result at every stage race I've ever done, I'd be a really unhappy little dude. Above is a view from the team bus of where the prologue took place. I'm glad I don't have anyone with a gun to my head telling me to ski jump off of that thing. Yikes.

Tomorrow we will race 180km and climb like 10,000ft and hopefully do it better than all the other cycling dorks out there. Kill them all.

A domani.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I left Aunt Melanie in Santa Fe this morning for Salt Lake City. There, I encountered a few surprises. First, as I was waiting for the shuttle and trying to meet up with my new teammate Vladimir Efimkin, brother of A. Efimkin, both former AG2R riders, he took the very shuttle I had called while I was looking for him and sped off. Nothing short of an extra round hour at the airport, I met up with Fabio to take the next ride to the Sheraton.

The next surprise was meeting up with old friends at the restaurant for a mid-summer luncheon, but what was really the cap of it all, was all this new kit that awaited me in an unassuming white trashbag, presented by seigneur Ronny Goicochea. See attached photos.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4
I left Aunt Melanie in Santa Fe this morning for Salt Lake City. There, I encountered a few surprises. First, as I was waiting for the shuttle and trying to meet up with my new teammate Vladimir Efimkin, brother of A. Efimkin, both former AG2R riders, he took the very shuttle I had called while I was looking for him and sped off. Nothing short of an extra round hour at the airport, I met up with Fabio to take the next ride to the Sheraton.

The next surprise was meeting up with old friends at the restaurant for a mid-summer luncheon, but what was really the cap of it all, was all this new kit that awaited me in an unassuming white trashbag, presented by seigneur Ronny Goicochea. See attached photos.

Your opinions? No more simple blue and we get a red helmet.

You saw it here first. Please cast your vote on the poll above, thanks.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Ridin' Ain't On The Rodeo Circuit Out Here

Blogger hasn't been doing me well over the last month! I've been riding locally in Burlington since the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China (last post was on the way there). It might be time for my own URL, no? Should I get a poll on that? Let me see what I can do, here. Meanwhile, read on.

I'm in Santa Fe for the second time in just over 7 months. My aunt Melanie Dugan lives here in a great adobe style single-level house outside of the city. As much as I love to see Melanie, part of the draw to visit her before racing Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (in Colorado) was the elevation. I thought I could kill 2 birds with one stone by spending a week out here before racing two of the hardest stage races in the US in a dry climate at significant elevation. Santa Fe sits at 7,000 ft and Melanie is up the hill from there, so I'd say this is perfect! There's a beautiful 25k road not far away that goes up to the Santa Fe Ski Basin, reaching 10,350 ft that I first explored on Christmas Day this past winter. I had an unfortunate experience laying it out on black ice on that brisk morning, but the summers are gorgeous up there - it gets nice and cool as you work your way up.

Tour of Utah starts August 9th and finishes on the 14th. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is soon after from the 22-28th. After that, I get to go back to New England for a respite before another CCA (Chinese Cultural Adventure) at Tour of China in mid-September.

Today is my last ride in Santa Fe. Tomorrow I'll leave for Salt Lake City to regroup with Team Type 1 before the show begins. Tour of Utah was actually my first race with Team Type 1 in 2009. I had a great time and suffered a whole lot.