Thursday, March 13, 2014

Man on the Run

There is an interesting trend going here in Paris Nice. It seems that the stage number is the predictor for the number of riders who will be in the day’s breakaway. Today was stage 5, so there were 5 of us! It wasn’t easy to get in, but I managed to follow the right move at the right time and found myself as one of the 5 escapees. The problem was that the rest of my breakaway companions were too close in the general classification for the peloton to give us much leash. Also a few of the sprinters probably felt that they still had a chance to make it over the climbs today and into the finale, so they had interests, too. The combination of those factors pretty much sealed our fate: dead.

As it was we rode quite hard all day and certainly didn’t make it easy on the field behind. They never allowed us more than 3 minutes gap to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. We carried about 30 seconds into the base of the final climb, but it was not nearly enough. Chavanel began attacking our group a short way into the climb. I tried to follow, but I just didn’t have the punch to close the gap. I could keep the distance, but the jump to follow or close the gap was missing. That will come with racing and a little more training though. When the peloton caught us from behind I made my best effort to recover a bit and offer my last bit of help to Frank and Bob. I made it to the last couple kilometers of the climb and then the day’s effort hit me. I dropped off and rode that last descent to the finish under my own terms.

It was a great team effort today. We had good, shared work in the beginning covering breakaways. Then we made the breakaway. Then Laurent put in a good dig on the final climb. And finally Bob had a great finish. Really glad I could contribute to the effort today. After a less than spectacular start to the race for the team, we are coming to life and hopefully we can salvage something out of this race. These last three stages are going to be tough and we’ll need the full strength of the team to do well. Come back to see how it goes.


Anonymous said...

Really love these race reports. Give us a nice perspective on what actually happens during a stage.

Maybe you have been hanging around with Jens too much..great to see you in the break.

Cindy said...

It's good to remember what Gretzky said. "You miss 100% of of the shots you don't take".
Great job!