Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Utah Stage 2: National Monuments/Parks Galore

Today was the longest stage of the 2013 Tour of Utah, clocking in at 210km, so why not see some good stuff while you're out there? We saw lots of the infamous Utah red rock and passed a lot of the national treasures Utah possesses. Despite the beauty, it was no slouch of a day. There was plenty of action in the beginning with lots of people motivated for the day's breakaway. After an hour of action, two guys slipped away, so it was time to settle into a rhythm for the day. After a few hours of up and down, we were into the final climbs of the day. With the gap at 8 minutes, we decided to take some responsibility to see that the break was brought much closer by the finish. Ben, Nelson, and Jens began taking some turns. The gap tumbled rapidly to around 2.5 minutes by the time we were starting the final climb of Boulder Mountain. At that point, Bissel decided to take some responsibility because they were interested in gaining as many KOM points as possible. By the top, the field was "gruppo compacto".

From the top, it was a rapid 40km to the finish. The group decided to get a little excited again as we descended. Guys began attacking on the little risers we encountered. The field strung out and there was certainly some discomfort in the legs! By the end though, everything was together for a field sprint. I had a bit of excitement on the final descent when I hit a pothole and flatted my rear tire. I never even saw it coming with the riders in front of me. Thankfully it was my rear tire, too, because it was much easier to come to a controlled stop. If it had been my front tire, there's no telling what could have happened. Also, I'm very glad the road was mostly straight at that point, too. After a quick wheel change, the chase was on. I have no idea how fast I had to go, but it felt very quick! As I made my way back through the cars, I was met by Jens and Ben at the rear of the field to help me the rest of the way. Enough excitement for the day, I was happy to cross the finish line with no damage done.

Tomorrow's third stage will visit some familiar territory for me; although, I will have to stretch my memory to remember what happened in 2009. We will ascend Mt Nebo, but instead of finishing on top, we will descend 30km to the finish. There is bound to be some action on the climb, so I'm hoping my legs will respond well. The team has been riding well, and we have a strong team here, so hopefully we will have a few guys in the front group. We'll see what happens tomorrow! 


Matt Miller said...

Thanks for this update! Good luck tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Good luck out there. Thanks for the posts.