Monday, August 11, 2014

Utah Completed

Tour of Utah is complete and I think I’m happy it is. The team atmosphere was good all week, but I think my legs are still a little tired from the Tour. The final two days of racing were very tough. I did my best to hang on, but I was suffering to follow the hard accelerations of the front guys. It seemed like I just couldn’t get my body to make that last push. I didn’t feel the “ease” to go deep. Obviously going to your limit is never easy, but sometimes the body will respond better when pushed. I’m really hoping (expecting) that with a good week of rest and recovery, I will bounce back strong for Colorado.

Regarding the final two stages, the “queen” stage to Snowbird was very difficult. Jens and Riccardo did a great job to get into the breakaway. It was particularly impressive that Riccardo made it because he was involved in a crash near the beginning, so he had to chase back to the peloton and then attack to get into the group again. And then to seal it off he came in 3rd on the stage. For today’s stage I had decided I wanted to try something similar because I had nothing to lose. There were two scenarios possible. Either I’d get into the early move with a teammate or two and just wait to the last climb, or we’d have a guy or two get into the early move and I’d try to jump across on the first KOM of the day. The preference was the first early move and I tried my hand several times but was unsuccessful. At one point there was a good split in the peloton and I was in the front and trying to follow a couple guys across to the break, but I was unable to even follow on the flat. I just didn’t seem to have the power.

Once the dust settled, the stage was already a third over, but we still had the two difficult KOMs to navigate. I passed the first one with “relative” ease and had my teammates to help keep me safe and protected to the base of the final climb. From there I was on my own to try and make it happen. From the onset the pace was very hard and I slowly lost contact. Eventually Riccardo caught me and then we caught Clement who had now also fallen off the pace of the front group. It was a dual effort from there to try and save my gc position and also save Clement’s young rider jersey. Riccardo worked hard for several kilometers of the incredibly difficult climb and once he pulled off I tried to set a solid pace for Clement to the top. At that point I had resigned myself on my gc position in order to try and help him keep the jersey. In the end he lost the jersey by a mere 14 seconds. He was pretty devastated and I felt pretty bad because there was probably 14 seconds somewhere that we could’ve pulled out of ourselves. I did my best to tell him not to worry though because he had a heck of a race and I don’t think it was his goal to have the jersey before the race. It is of course hard to have it taken away once you have had it though. He’s a good rider with a lot of potential though, so he should be happy. At the end of the day I fell to 11th on gc, but that doesn’t make any difference in anything. Overall it was a hard week of racing that I’m hoping will really benefit me looking ahead to Colorado. Thanks for reading!


Martin said...

That seemed like an incredible tough race, so many long and steep climbs so close after the TdF. Beautiful scenery but that is probably hard to enjoy most of the time.... . Congratulations to good finish!

Anonymous said...

A very nice update. Thanks for the recap. You all had a few days of crazy climbs. Best of luck in CO! Now that you're adapted to the altitude you will be a in a good place given all your TdF miles.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck in Colorado. Can we expect any news soon on your contract for next season? Hoping you remain at Trek, but sure you have some options.

Anonymous said...

A great finish today. Congrats!