Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Changed My Mind

Well I wasn't going to post today because of frustration and disappointment again, but I have gathered myself and will report on today. It was rainy at the start and then on/off all day. The race was fast at the start waiting for the break to get established. I approached the front and was about to go, but was a few seconds to late. The group split and we had Irizar in, so it was good. The group stayed away all day. The tempo was considerable today and pretty tiring. I did not feel super, but stuck with it. The course was relentless not ever allowing much if any time for recovery. I was feeling it. After taking in more lessons about bathroom break timing, descending, eating/drinking properly, etc. I arrived on the final ascent of the day to the finish.
Now I had not been looking forward to it all day as I felt tired, but somehow I felt a spark of energy with about 45km to go and I thought I might have something to go for. As a domestique to the team now I had a few duties to take care of as we approached the final 20km like taking extra clothing, getting final bottles, etc. I did this fine including giving Chris Horner my bike when he flatted. He had no problem getting back in with the field and then switched to his spare bike and I got mine back right before I reintegrated, although I had a hefty chase back to the field afterward, which was me wasting more energy than I already had in the day. I was feeling ok, but by the time the final climb arrived I was mid field and struggling to find my way to the front. I wanted to make it there and do one of those sweet team tempo jobs that you see in the tour destroy everyone, but I never made it. I sat up 7 or 8km from the finish and saved it for later in the week knowing we might have to defend the jersey.
Chris is now second on GC 4 seconds back and Jani is right there too, maybe 6 seconds, so we are still sitting good. Tomorrow is a long 200km with a lot of up and down, a few classified climbs. I am sure it will be hard though as everything around here is up and down and even the unclassified climbs can be more difficult than the classified ones. See ya.


ZiaVelo Racing Club said...

the details of your ride are great and it looks like you will be busy getting Horner to the top.

Cindy said...

So fun to get a peek into your experience. Learning lessons is the only way to get better. :}

Christopher said...

flip, chin up buddy. it's going to be a long season and this is only your first race. i have every confidence in the world that your legs will come around at some point and soon enough you'll be showing the rest of these guys how to ride a bike.

just remember that most of the guys you're racing against have been riding at this level longer than you've even been racing in general. the fact that you're out there with them this early in your career is testament to your abilities.

it may seem hard now, but you'll get the hang of it, i'm positive.

take care, buddy, and remember: it's only bike racing.

Shane C. said...

Don't despair Matthew.
Have the faith in yourself that all your friends have in you. Hang in there! You have the mental and physical talent to ride with anyone, just get comfortable with your new environment, and learn. You'll get there!

E. Griffin said...

Hey Flip, love reading about your exploits. Keep on learning and writing! -Crimedog

Hip said...

OK, I'll bite.

How do I get into the cool club that calls you "Flip"?

-Hip in Tosa