The 2012 Kit

The 2012 Kit

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!

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