Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Grosglockner Fireworks

First, Happy 4th of July to everyone. I'm sad to be unable to have the traditional bbq and fireworks, but the celebration here in Austria today is a pretty good substitute! The plan today was hopefully to get Oliver or me into the breakaway; however, things went slightly differently than planned!

The start today was super hard, blowing the field to bits. I felt strong and had good position to make the front group. I am unsure the exact numbers, but we rolled over the first KOM with maybe 15 guys. Jakob had taken a massive pull on the climb to help create the split. With Jakob, Tommy, Laurent, and me present with only a couple Movistar and BMC we had a good situation, especially because DiLuca had missed it. Immediately I went to the front and started pulling. A BMC rider, an Austrian guy, and I opened a gap on the chasing DiLuca group through the valley. As we approached the base of the Grosglockner, the road slowly tilted more and more upward. I pulled into the Grosglockner, setting as steady of a tempo as possible to help make the DiLuca group continue to chase. I'm not sure what happened behind, but DiLuca managed to bridge across after several km. At that point, I sat up, but we wanted to keep the pressure on DiLuca because we knew he would be tired from his effort. Laurent launched an attack immediately, which DiLuca followed. Then when they came back, Jakob made his attack, and only the guy from NetApp could follow.

DiLuca had one teammate with him, and he set a good tempo on the climb, but it is an awfully long way and a big ask for one guy to do everything, so Jakob's gap steadily grew until the top. Then on the descent they made some more time. The gap grew to over 3 minutes as we entered the valley. BMC started to help the chase, and they made up some time, but the race was pretty well over at that point because everyone was so tired. Tommy, Laurent, and I enjoyed the luxury of being able to sit in and watch it unfold. On the final KOM, BMC set a good tempo and some attacks went as we neared the top, which I helped cover, but it was going to be our 20ish man group to the line. On the final climb to the finish the attacks started going, and I tried to follow, but I was pretty cooked and lost contact inside the final km. I finished behind the group, but it was a very successful day for the team. I am happy to have been a part of the fireworks today!

Picture is not great, but it's of the beautiful valley we're in.


Big Cahunico said...

Matthew, Beautiful!!!
Glad to see RSNT net the win, and to see you in the top 20 still. Job well done. You are a rock of a team member!!!

Anonymous said...

Following the results every day from the cabin in northern MN. Four great days of racing in a row. The team is rock solid. Nobody else has a chance! Keep it up! M&J