Thursday, May 19, 2011

Long Day Done

Today's 217km stage from Seaside to Paso Robles was long and beautiful. The stage started through the beautiful Carmel Valley on a road I had trained on a couple years ago. It was cool to ride through and recognize some of the road. After a less beautiful middle of the stage, the ride into Paso Robles was again beautiful scenery; although, the pace rose and the suffering reacted accordingly.

The stage started with a few hard rollers and KOMs. The break went just before the summit of the first official KOM, and we were happy to see it go because it was only 4 riders, which makes our job of control throughout the day easier, and everyone's legs were a bit fatigued after the short but hard day in the saddle yesterday. Unfortunately we screwed up by not giving the break enough leash in the beginning, so some other guys started jumping across the gap making us resume a hard chase. Eventually things settled down again, but the break grew to 11 with a few dangerous men, so the chase was a little bit harder. The day was not easy for me riding in the caboose at the end of our train, but Ben, Jason and Markel were machines today doing 90% of the work on the front. Hats off to them. In the end, the team rode great and no damage was done at the finish.

Tomorrow is the time trial in Solvang where Levi has won three times. The race is not between Chris and Levi, but they are both racing, so naturally a little competition exists. The team morale and spirit is great though, no animosity is there. Both Chris and Levi are in great condition, along with the rest of a strong field. It will be a great show. For me, it is a "rest day" because my goal is not the gc. My goal is to be as recovered as possible to do work for Chris and Levi on Saturday and Sunday. There are going to be a lot of fireworks still. Stay tuned!

I wanted to post the picture of the new addition to my bike's paint job. Stay strong Aunt Mary, we love you.

I want to make a small note to any of my Luther alums, too. I don't necessarily believe in good/bad omens or superstitions, but while on the massage table the night before stage four, the song "Psychokiller" came through the playlist of the soigneur. After hearing the song, I knew the next day would be good, and Team RS delivered a great day! Go Norse!


torgerson.kevin said...

Great post Psychokiller is very motivational thanks Flip. Keep up the good work. It has been fun being able to catch glimpses of you. Stay safe.

LeP said...

Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Great riding. Looking forward to seeing you flatten Mt. Baldy in a couple days. In addition to antler man, perhaps some viking helmets will make an appearance.

Carson said...

Great to see you riding for your Aunt man!

Awesome seeing you on the television and being mentioned as a great helper for Horner and Leipheimer!

Boo-Shay #1 said...

Well done bro, well done. Good work thus far and hit them hard on Saturday!

E. Griffin said...

Always fun when that song comes on, isn't it? Keep rockin' Cali.

@tourpro said...

Great job on Baldy, you really made the finale a joy to watch.

Ride On !!

Brian S. said...

Haha, I have the song Psychokiller on my Ipod and it's in my training's a great motivator.

I'm writing this post after the Mt. Baldy stage, where your performance on the front was nothing short of fantastic! As overpowerng as Levi and Horner's rides were on Baldy, you were the one pulling them for the longest and on the steepest. Hell of a good job!

Anonymous said...

Mt. Baldy....Wow....I know everyone has good days and bad days, but you just laid down the hammer. You really made it an exciting stage to watch. Maybe more riders should move to Iowa, it may help them develop some superb climbing skills.

Looking forward to following more of your season. - C

Chuck Norris said...

Enjoy this moment - if you can with your schedule! - as you don't get to have many like this one - a tour where everyone on your team has a good tour, your team goes 1-2 on the GC, and you are considered by everyone to be a big reason for it.

Oh - and way to dish out some pain on Baldy - you had cycling fans going nuts - so sweet!

Perry Dau said...

Psycho Killer! All that need to be said. Was thinking of when I helped move my son to Silver City, NM last week.
Perry '84

daveR said...

Matthew, I had a great time in Cali and I'm glad I was there to cheer on Mt. Baldy. BTW, your dad had a permanent smile on his face every time I saw him. Congrats again.