Monday, July 23, 2012
On Our Way!
Well, the queen stage here in Wallonie had no shortage of excitement and teamwork for RSNT. Laurent started the day of by giving us important representation in the initial breakaway. Then when the fireworks really started after the feedzone, and the other five of us did an incredible job of racing. Jakob, Ben, Nelson, and I were all involved in different moves in the final 40km and making the race hard. Perhaps most surprising but important on the day was the strength of Giacomo. With so many climbs and a hard race, we didn't expect Giacomo to be in the final group, but he was there, so it was obvious we were going to set up a sprint for him. At about 4km to go, everything was together, and we had 4 of us there, so I went immediately to the front to take control of the field and set a good tempo to discourage attacks and set up the sprint. I pulled until 1km, then Ben took over until about 500/600m, followed by Jakob for the final leadout to about 250m, and Giacomo finished it off in grand fashion with a sprint no one could come close to matching. It was pure elation as I crossed the line just behind the field and heard the announcers saying Giacomo's name. It was a great way to cap a hard day of racing. With the win, Giacomo took the yellow jersey based on placings even though he is on the same time as the guy in second place. We'll do everything we can to defend it over the next two stages, but it definitely won't be easy with time bonuses available and anything possible with the Belgian racing conditions. Hopefully today took the vigor out of a few guys, so maybe it can be a little easier. Time to get ready for a battle!