The cobble approach
Wednesday, April 18, 2006
Today was a heated one. Attacking started from the gun and didn’t cease until around 80 kilometers from the finish when four guys went up the road. Our guy, Dan Bowman, got into the break perfectly. He was the one who was given the task on the day and he did it, pretty amazing really. It’s hard enough for one of eight guys to make it in, but the one guy with the task making it is awesome. The break ended up getting some 12 minutes in like five minutes, after the pack slowed to ~12 mph. At around 60 kilometers to go the “national” team began setting tempo, then Phonak, Discovery and finally quick-step (they absolutely railed it). We caught them after entering the circuit. Coming into the circuit was another race of its own; everyone wanted positioning because it could only hold some forty guys. We were all fighting to get to the front so we wouldn’t be the guy that got shelled going up the cobble hill. On the turn coming into the finish straight, it looked like discovery was on the front with the lead out, I was some fifteen guys back when around the turn some guys on my right went down hard. It made me think of California- it could’ve been a replay from there except the first stage instead of the last… I'm feeling a bit queasy after the race so I think I may have caught Jonathan’s cold.
Aside from the cobbled ascent and the finishing crash, I wanted to make one cheap shot at this here Crowne Plaza were staying in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s just a little, uhhh, different- in one way. I think they tried to model it after the Titanic- when it’s sinking. You step into the elevator and it starts creaking like its reached a depth it’s unworthy of. Then it starts going up or down and certain thoughts trickle into your head like, are the construction standards somewhat below the national average in Georgia? I was looking for the valves to twist when the pipes start springing leaks down in the engine room…