Gila Stage Three 2013

There are goals. And then there are goals you say out loud. Today I accomplished the second (top 50), but not my real goal of a top 40. I ended up 46th, which is heaps better than I’ve done in the past, just 2:28 minutes off the winner, Tom Zirbel. My progress on the TT bike has been pretty rapid this season considering most of my riding on it has been one-hour easy rest days, so I’m hopeful that with three months of real TT training I’ll be in a good spot for Cascade in late July. I need to get properly fit on it and buy a new saddle because my hips start to ache when I spend too much time in the position. If I were a woman I’d probably have to have a C-section because of my non-child-bearing hips. I have premature child bearing hips at best–not like a teenager’s hips, but like if I were to have a premature baby. I’m pretty confident I could squeeze out a baby that was 9-weeks premature. Although in that case I’d definitely offer it up for adoption because a premi that severe would certainly have a weak immune system and underdeveloped lungs, so it would make a terrible athlete. I was premature by six weeks but my mom decided to keep me (barely). Six weeks is just on the cuff. Another two weeks and I’d have had underdeveloped lungs for sure. Luckily mine are pretty huge at 7.5 liters, which makes me wonder if I’d have gotten an extra half liter or so if I wasn’t premature.

The Tyrone time trial today is held on a fairly difficult course. It starts out with a very gradual, stair-stepped climb, which I hammered decently hard. After cresting the climb you descend down the backside at a good clip, during which I tucked and saved my legs for the next couple rollers. The wind shifts all the time on the course, and a large open mine to the right lets in a nasty gust of wind that sometimes threatens to blow you across the road. This year I was fine and stayed in my aero bars the whole time, which didn’t work out so well for Mancebo, who I heard crashed. (He still beat me).

After the turn around you get a tailwind for those rollers and also for the steeper side of the cat 3 climb. I passed my one minute man before the climb but my thirty second man (Robin Eckman of Cal Giant) was loooong gone. So instead of pacing myself against him, I battled a guy from Predator (Cesar Grajales I think) who must have had a mechanical because he popped up out of nowhere after the turn around.

The long descent back to the finish always sucks. You have to pedal even though your legs are blown to bits by then, especially this year since it was a head wind. I wasn’t even close to spun out in my 56X11, but was glad to have it nonetheless. There’s no way I could have spun a 53X11 at 110 cadence at that point in the race.

After the TT I moved up to 37th on GC, which is a pretty good spot to launch from. I’m still intent on finding the breakaway on the final day, but if I don’t make it I still believe I can move into the top 30 by just suffering it out in whatever chase group I end up in. Top 30 at Gila…not as outstanding as my Redlands result but I’ll take it.

Chris Winn, one of our guest riders, put in the best Rio time today with a 34th place. Pretty solid. With Nick one spot ahead of me on GC and Garrett Suydam a little was back in 53rd, we’re sitting 12th on team GC and intent on moving that up to the top 10 by the final day. Tonight both of our host houses are combining efforts to feed us a lasagna dinner. I haven’t eaten in two hours so I’m HUNGRY!

I hope you enjoy this hilarious sea lion video as much as I did.

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