Friday, August 11, 2006
The first climbing stage was pretty intense. A low grade highway climb suddenly turned into an insane 22 mile ascent into the clouds. We had a great plan to get me the win, but it kind of blew up in my face. I think we were all a little too excited about the plan and it initially went off great. We decided to have attack United at the bottom of the hill, we went a bit before that and all four of us got clear right away. Then with the effort the guys kind of blew up and I rode away. Then I blew up too. Once we got clear we should have taken the time to get our legs back and set a sustainable pace. We got 2 minutes in like 2 kilometers, so I think our effort was a little premature. Once I was by myself Creed and Blake were up the road, so Jonathan had Creed wait for me to help pull set pace for me up the hill. Unfortunately, as soon as I caught him my legs began giving me grief. At that point it was all a bit of a nightmare. I’ve felt so good, and then suddenly I could hardly climb and Creed had just wasted another race for me. The front group caught us and passed us, then all of a sudden my legs woke back up and I stayed some 30 seconds off them. Hopefully Saturday goes better.
Evidently the Tour de L’avenir has decided US teams aren’t welcome this year, so as of now TIAA-CREF and the US National Team aren’t racing it. Great huh? Any respect that I ever had for France has fallen from absolutely nonexistent to totally nonexistent.