|Me and Chris Horner, Tour de Georgia TTT, Road Atlanta|
We started with 68 racers. Sean was involved in a crash early on and had to abandon. Trace and I didn't know it so with two to go I worked my way up to Trace and asked if he knew where Sean was. He didn't and so we raced our own race. Now I'll tell you something about Trace Nabors, he's a diesel. There's nobody I'd rather go to battle with. He stayed at the front for the entire race and with two to go he chased a break down then helped ramp up the pace to a super speed. It was massive. So massive in fact that on the last lap I didn't want to risk pulling out of the single line of about 15 riders flying down the back stretch. I thought that once I used the energy to move up and nobody would let me in I'd be stuck out in the wind and my race would be over. So I stayed and waited for the bottom of the hill. You see, the way the finish is set up you have to drop down into the "pit lane" and sprint four hundred meters to the finish. If your already at your limit that's too far to go. As soon as I hit the bottom I went as hard as I could for as long as I could. My legs were burning like crazy when I crossed the finish in what ended up being 11th place. My family and Traces were cheering us on each lap. It was great fun. Oh, and my Mom was there too. How cool is that!
How about the Tour de France!!!! I told my wife that it would be the first DVD of the Tour I'll buy. It was so awesome from start to finish. Even my Dad got sucked in to it. And he only likes golf! The only thing I didn't like was that Chris Horner didn't get his shot. Stupid crashes. And I truly see clean racing going on. There's some pain and suffering in the faces of the leaders. I agree with this statement from Jonathan Vaughters :
GAP, France (VN) — Jonathan Vaughters (Garmin-Cervelo) says he’s encouraged by signs that this Tour de France is a cleaner race.
The team manager cited the climbing stage up Plateau de Beille last weekend as one example. The climbing speed was slowest in five climbs up the mountain (44:03 for Alberto Contador in 2007 versus 46:08 for Jelle Vanendert) and nearly three minutes slower than Pantani in 1998 (though the finish line was slightly lower on the mountain).
“One, they went up the Beille three minutes slower than Pantani did in 1998. Three minutes slower,” Vaughters told VeloNews. “The speed on the climbs is down. The best climbers in the world cannot come close to matching what guys did back in the 1990s, even with bikes that are two kilograms lighter.
“Those are all kinds of signs that the racing is much cleaner. It’s there in the math. The time up this is 10 percent slower and oxygen consumption is 10 percent lower, on average with the top guys. I think it’s great that you see the top guys on a very close playing field.”
Vaughters also said the tight GC picture is another sign that cycling is slowly cleaning up its act.
“These are high-level athletes within micro-percentages of training, talent and ability of one another. I think it’s great to see,” Vaughters continued. “The proof’s in the pudding. The data has been there that the racing is much cleaner. It’s been a little bit sad that there have been these scandals here and there that make people think otherwise, but quite frankly, the science points to the fact the racing is cleaner — period. You can see that in the speeds of the climb and you can see that in the tightness of the competition.”
Have a great week! Thanks for reading!