Thursday, June 6, 2013

150 Meters Is A Long Way

I can't really explain the waves of emotions I'm experiencing right now. One moment is frustration, the next is utter dispair, then there is happiness, and the many after that are a mix of the entire range of emotional descriptives from good to bad. What else can I say? I gave it a shot! Honestly, I thought we had no shot at all because once they started pulling in the peleton, the gap came down pretty quickly. I was thinking to myself that if I started the climb with 3 minutes, I would have a chance. But when we started with just over 2 minutes, I thought the odds were pretty slim, especially considering how horrible my legs felt. I guess that goes to show how quickly things can change though.

At the base of the final climb, our group had split into three leaders and the rest chasers. I was part of the chasers. I'm still not entirely sure how the three ever got away, but that doesn't matter too much I guess. Once we hit the climb, I knew it had to be steady the whole way. A few guys attacked to try and reach the leaders, while a few of us tried to take some turns pulling. I was a bit worried about the leaders up the road, but I hoped that they had underestimated the climb a bit, and we would come back to them. I struggled for the first couple kilometers to find a good rhythm, but finally it came. Our chase group slimmed down until it was one by one. I was left to chase the remaining two guys up the road by myself. I settled into my rhythm and hoped it would be enough to catch them and hold of the charging peleton. The information and encouragement I was getting from Dirk in the car were amazing. I kept my rhythm and eventually caught the lone leader at 5km to go. Immediately I was alone though. What a feeling that was! I did everything I could to maintain a good pace and hold off the chasers. As I hit 2km to go, I thought maybe I could make it, but then they began attacking again behind. I was caught inside of 200 meters to go and had nothing left to sprint with. Third. Besides the attacks, I think my ultimate undoing was a flat section around 2km to go, along with another short downhill with 500m to go. Without those, I think I would've made it. It was those sections though where I had to try and muster an extra bit outside of my rhythm that cost me. As disappointed as I am, I will keep fighting! And more importantly, Haimar is in a good position on GC, so I hope I can be strong to help him in the big mountains this weekend. Good night.

10 comments:

Stuart's world of wonder. said...

I watched the race on the TV and thought you might have a chance with a couple of Ks to go. Well done though, it took a couple of very big names to beat you and many thousands more cycling fans know your name and this one has looked you up to say well done on your podium finish.

Matt Miller said...

The English commentator pronounced your name "Boosh" all the way up the last climb. But while your 3rd place finish may have been disappointing to you, you can rest assured American cycling fans were jazzed to see "Froome, Contador, Busche". Super ride.

"Close" can feel disappointing, except when it's "ClosER", which today definitely was. And after today, I'm sure every commentator will be getting your name right.

Scott K said...

I didn't see any of it but have read the rags. Within a few meters is damn close and nothing that anyone else can stake a claim to. Great job and keep your legs in it, one at a time! We are cheering louder than ever!

Anonymous said...

Lately you seem to be riding like Jens Voigt...and that is a good thing. Your moves are putting you in a position to win, and I think that victory may not be far away.

Anonymous said...

Proud fellow Wisconsinite here! Keep on keeping on. That's some bad to the bones stuff you're pulling my man!

Anonymous said...

Matt, fantastic job today!! You rock! 54th to 19th in one day.. Good Luck. Steve Wetmore

Anonymous said...

The next generation of Norse are still cheering for "Flip" in Decorah! Fantastic ride!

Anonymous said...

If there's a mountain, you seem to be in the mix every time. Gutsy ride.

daveR said...

Matthew, I've watched replays a couple times and still feel stoked for you. great ride!

Jim Geiger said...

I watched the final km's of today's stage many times and was just thrilled with your near-win. As a tosa west 84' graduate (and amateur racer in Wash DC) I could not be happier with a guy like you to follow in the pro peloton. Good luck making the tdf team and regardless we're watching you with delight. Best, the Geiger family.