Sunday, August 21, 2011

Almost There

Not! Two stages down and too many to count to go. It is great to be here though. Good experiences so far. We started the festivities with the opening presentation on Friday night. That was kind of a junky experience actually. It was cool to be a part of it as my first big tour, but it was way too long and way too hot. Also during the parade I had a guy say "go home American, go home". That left a sour taste in my mouth.

Saturday was the official beginning with the team TT. I have done one before, but I hardly call it official, so this was basically my numero uno! It started poorly for us with Jani dropping his chain in the first pedal stroke from the start ramp. We waited for him for what seemed like forever. It cost us a lot of time, which was really unfortunate because once we got rolling, I think we were the fastest team. We did the last 3k of the course in 3:07. I would say there is a really good chance we could have won. That's the way the cookie crumbles though. The good thing is that we were all healthy and upright with a lot of stages left. The race was not going to be won or lost in this stage. I think we were the only team to finish with all 9 riders as well, which really shows our team is in good condition.

Today was stage two and the heat was there to greet us! It has been steadily warming up in Spain the last week or so. I think all the summer heat that wasn't around in July is finally arriving. The sun was literally like a heat lamp today. When we would slow down for a climb, the heat was incredible. There was no way to drink enough today. I drank two bottles in the first 45min of racing. For the stage, it was relatively straightforward: protect and take care of Jani, Haimar and Tiago for the finish. I did my best to help the team, and I think in the end we kept our gc guys safe.

I guess that is about all I can report. Not too much excitement yet. I suspect there could be some more excitement in the coming days, but only time will tell!


Phil Cianciola said...

Thanks for the report Matthew. If you can find time, keep them up during the entire tour. Great stuff.

kyle j said...

Good luck tomorrow! Kick some butt!

LeP said...

Laid back, focus. Take it easy, take your time.