Friday, May 16, 2014

Surprise Again!

As planned the team went all in for the breakaway today and managed to get Danny in. He actually wasn't supposed to even be trying, but he somehow found himself in the mix and followed one wheel, which landed him in the move. It turned out all good though. The stage definitely ended up much harder than people were expecting I think. Everyone probably expected a battle for the breakaway, but then a generally calm stage. Instead we had the big battle for the break, but then the chase was on full gas all day. Plus there were moments when the wind was quite strong and making the field string out quite a bit. As the race closed in on the breakaway and the final climb of San Marcos Pass before the fast descent to Santa Barbara, Jens launched one of his signature attacks. He never gained any ground though and ended up going nowhere.

Cannondale set a hard tempo going up the climb in order to shed the sprinters like Degenkolb and Cavendish and leave the best chances for Sagan to win. They succeeded in dropping the sprinters and brought the field down to only 45 riders at the top. On the descent Taylor Phinney managed to simply "aero-tuck attack" his way to a 25 second gap on the field. That's all it took for him as he went into time trial mode and opened up a larger gap, which saved him enough time to finish 12 seconds in front of the charging peloton. I was comfortable in the peloton until about 5km to go when I punctured. Rather than panic I stayed calm and hoped the big boulevard we were on didn't have any major corners. Thankfully it didn't and I was able to surf my flat until the 3km mark, at which point I was able to put my hand up for a mechanical and receive the same time as the field as per the UCI rules. I got my wheel changed and rode into the finish nice and easy, saving as much energy as possible for tomorrow. My roommate Jasper took third in the field sprint, earning 4th on the stage, a well earned result for sure. If you're curious why I didn't change my flat immediately, it's because there was no chance I could change the flat and then come back to the field, so I would've lost time on the gc. It was better for me to take my chance to get to the 3km mark, which I thankfully was able to do. Tomorrow we go up to a new summit finish at Mountain High. I know nothing about it, but I'm hoping I can be strong and move up a couple spots on gc. Off to rest now. Thanks for coming back!


BigCahunico said...

Great thinking on wheel change. A seasoned vet now..

KyleJ said...

Ah, I was wondering why your placing was strange but time was with the split! Good heads up riding!