Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Catalunya 1

Good morning from stage 2. A good massage, dinner, night's sleep, and breakfast have taken place since yesterday's stage 1. It was a hard start for stage 1. With no prologue to set the control of the race, it was a free-for-all to get in the break, and there was some definite hesitation on who would set the tempo in the field. It took nearly 50km for the break to establish itself, but 5 guys finally went away. It was a strong break, and they worked together well to get a good gap that never could be taken back. The field chased hard, but with fresh legs and a short stage, the break stayed clear.

On the final climb and into the finish, we took charge of the field and did our best to limit the damage of the break because the eventual winner, Michael Albasini, is a strong rider who we couldn't afford to give too much time. In the end, I think we gave 1:30 to Albasini, so hopefully in the big mountains we can take it back. We'll have to see what happens though! He's a strong rider who obviously will now fight to keep the jersey. Also, there is bad weather predicted for tomorrow's stage 3, which could mean deviations and not as big/difficult of a stage. One day at a time though.

Today's stage is my "home" stage with the start and finish in Girona. It should be an exciting finish actually with Els Angels summiting only 13km from the finish. As much as I hate descents determining the finish, I imagine there will be some fireworks on Els, followed by a fast descent that includes more opportunity to escape and good finish. We'll see what happens! I'm excited to have my local cheering squad out there again today, too!

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