Monday, May 16, 2016

Tour of California 2016 - Stage 2

First off I am pleased to report the the food situation is resolved.  I want to send a big thank you to Scotty our mechanic on this trip. Scotty is also chef Scotty and Sarah and I have been working with him for a couple of months coming up with on the bike diet options. He has taken charge of my meals and today both the breakfast and dinner were excellent.  Hopefully that worry is now behind me.

Needless to say after all the stree last night I did not get what you would call an optimal nights sleep. I set my alarm for 5:30am to be down to breakfast by 6am, with roll out at 6:30am.  The whole, you have less than 30 mins to eat is taking some adjustment but today I managed it.  

We had an hour transfer to the start line and I am still working out the bag mapping.  I forgot to drop it off in the box truck but thankfully Sarah one of our hosts had me covered.

When we arrived at the start chairs were out and our bikes ready to go.  It is so awesome that you hand off your bike at night and in the morning it is clean, tuned and ready to go.  On the ride yesterday my bar tape slipped at the hoods and this morning it was newly wrapped.  It really is a pro experience.

Before the ride Kirk our ride leader gave us an overview of the day before we all rolled out for an epic day in the saddle.  92 Miles, 11,300ft of climbing with 1 catagory 1 climb and 3 catagory 2 climbs.

My strategy for the day was the same as yesterday ride within my power parameters.  Right out the gate the group hit the first climb hard and I fell away rapidly as they hit the start of the 8 mile climb.  I remained patient and tapped outa cadence and slowly started to bring them in.  With 3K to go I had passed a couple of the group and had the main body of the group in sight.  I had to control the urge to bridge and to be honest I did somewhat of an ok job but I did rain my power over the cap I had set myself.  With 1k to go I caught them and rode across the KOM somewhere in 4th or 5th.  We then had a couple more climbs before the road head down hill towards the second climb of the day a 4.9 mile climb.  Again the group in the start of the climb hard and I dropped off the back staying true to my strategy.  Within the last 5k I bridged back to he lead group when with a 1K to go the 2 lead riders piled on the pressure.  I felt good but also knew I had 2 more climbs and a long way to go so I backed off the challenge and putting in a little sprint to take 3rd at the top.

we hit a few more rollers before we started the long downhill to the 3rd and 4th climbs of the day.  Our coach picked a fun, fast a swooping line down the decent leading us to the 3rd climb of 3.1 miles, only to miss our turning which resulted in some unplanned miles and elevation.  It was an easy mistake as the course had not been marked.   Course correct we entered the foot hill.   The group was hitting the raises impressively fast and I had to make the choice to either let them go or match the pace.  I decided to stay true to my strategy and let them go.  As we got onto the climb proper they were quite away ahead and I was noticing the effort to maintain my target power.  More concerning was the fact that my quads kept threatening to cramp and I spent time alternating my cadence to manage the situation.  I slowly road myself back into view but restrained from closing the gap.  I came over 2nd or 3rd from last but by no more than a couple of minutes.

After a Regroup we headed to the last climb down a knarly rough technical decent where my bike camera quite literally nearly popped off.  This got me in trouble with one of the coaches for riding the decent on my hoods which I had to do to keep the camera on my bike.  I reckoned it was a better option than the camera flying off and hitting someone.  The technical nature of the decent allowed 4 of us to gap the rest of the group so going into the last climb we were well ahead.  I let the others go and then closed I at the top to summit 3rd catching the 3rd man head.

For here it was supposed to be downhill all the way.  Right you know how that is.  A few gradual accents sapped the already tired legs when at 20k to go there was a nasty 7% grade into a strong head wind.  I won't lie by then I was cooked.  The good news however was that the last 10k was a flat fast approach to the finish and we crossed the line after another 7 hours in the saddle, 103 miles and 11,600ft of elevation gain.

Back at the hotel we had our massage times allotted to us and then to dinner.  I think today's victory through a wrench in many teams plans and the mood at dinner was a little somber.

Here are a few pictures until I can sort out the video

Now I need to get some rest as tomorrow is going to be another big day.

Keep it Rubber Side Down and MaxLifeOut

1 comment:

  1. Love it, sounds like an epic day of riding, well done for keeping in check, I know its hard to not chase down. Look forward to tomorrow for that HC climb at the end, should be an interesting stage. good rest and back on the bike for another day :-)