Monday, May 14, 2012
ToC Stage 1
We got things rolling today in California. It was an interesting stage for sure. The break established itself surprisingly easy. The eight riders gained upwards of 12 minutes I think, which was a little uncomfortable, but it was easy for them to gain that given that no team would take control. Of course everyone was looking to us to control the race, which inevitably happened. We didn't control the whole race, but Ben and Jens did what they do best setting a solid tempo throughout most of the day. In the end, the gap came tumbling down as we approached the final KOM of the day, Coleman Valley Rd. I am not sure of the exact gaps, but from bottom to top we surely took a couple minutes. It was a dogfight to the bottom of the climb, and I lost position, which made it really hard for me, but I managed my effort ok. Garmin pinned it, shredding the front group to about 25 at the top. I had to fight through the dropped riders and bridge the gap. We did the descent a little fast for my liking, but thankfully we made it all safe. The run in was straightforward, minus an ugly little crash just before 3km. I narrowly avoided it and happily crossed the line with the first group.