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 shacktracker.usaprocyclingchallenge.com! Live video coverage.