Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tour of The Bahamas Recap

Just getting back from the Tour of The Bahamas, and I'm crispier than a conch fritter. Overall the race went really well; our boy Jake "The Breeze" took home a big trophy for 3rd place which was a nice bonus. Jake has multiple nicknames as I've come to find out, which I think is a direct correlation to how fast you are. Me, I have one nickname, so that's a start I guess.

Now here comes the stage-by-stage synopsis:

Stage 1 - Time Trial: Short time trial on Saturday, 3 miles long. Flat, straight, and fast. Warming up I felt like I could use about three days of openers after not being on my bike all week, but c'est la vie. I went out hard, faded hard after the turnaround, but was able to finish pretty strong. My time of 5:56 was enough for 16th place; not bad for being on a road bike and going up against dudes in full TT setups, but I was still about 20 watts lower than I wanted to be for the effort.

Stage 2 - Circuit Race: Saturday afternoon's short circuit race was an absolute attack-fest! I don't think there was one minute of the race when somebody wasn't up the road or there wasn't a group trying to escape. Everyone was being super aggressive, and the intensity and speed showed. Finally starting to feel good again, I was able to cover a couple of attacks, get into a few breaks, and keep myself in good position at the front most of the time. Nothing was able to get away though. Coming into the sprint I think Geronimo finished 5th behind Tyler Farrar who won. Awesome job. I finished in the pack amidst chainrings flying by my head but somehow I moved up to 13th on GC. I guess the fast pace dropped a bunch of guys.

Stage 3 - Road Race: 105 miles of flat racing (6 laps) + 10 miles each way riding to the start and then home = a very long day in the saddle and a very sore butt! Geronimo and Big Willie Style were able to get into the early break which lasted for about 2 laps. I just sat on the front of the mostly-lackadaisical group and covered the wheels of people trying to attack to help keep the break away.

Coming into 3 laps to go, there was a break up the road with one of our guys in it. The pace let up a bit so I decided to drop back and get some waterbottles for everyone. After grabbing some ice-cold refreshments from the team car, I made my way back up to the pack... wait, where's the pack? Apparently while I was back at the car practicing my "turbo bottle" technique, Team Slipstream decided to annihilate the field, and I had made my way back up the remnants of the destruction. Bad timing on my part. I tried to bridge up, but me vs. the argyle train is no contest, so I was relegated to the autobus for the last 2 laps of the race and rode tempo to finish up, some 15 minutes behind.

Good points of the weekend: 1) the team worked exceptionally well together and we were well represented in every major break that went up the road, 2) I'm finally starting to feel better physically and learned a lot in my first race as a pro, 3) we were racing our bikes in the frikin' Bahamas, and that's about the coolest thing ever!


Robbie King said...

So, what's news in the last month?

Ken said...

Do you train with the Rite-Aid team in Virginia (Goochland) anymore? I live in Jon W's neighborhood, so I see the team car sometimes. Keep up the good work!