Monday, April 21, 2008

Getting worked over AKA The Tour of Walla Walla

I was impressed with the Tour of Walla Walla.  It was a well organized smooth running event.  There were four races in total (two RR's, TT, and crit).  


J Tack, KG, and myself ended up staying at the Waitsburg Inn.  It didn't look like much from the outside, but the place worked out well.  It was close to the start, cheap, and had a sweet diner next door.  Waitsburg is an awesome town.  We watched a cool guitar dude at the bar on Friday, and chilled in town for the majority of the weekend.  It feels great to be on a team again.  

CHRONICLES FROM THE BACK:
The only other team I've ever been on is UM and that was a couple years back.  I had a tough weekend.  I suffered through every race, and struggled to stay with the peleton.  Although my racing was bad, I had a great weekend.  The team was super supportive, and I had fun watching everyone do there thing.  Going up the final climb in the RR I was off the back and struggling to keep the bike up right.  2/3 up the climb there was an MT cheering section.  It was a sight for sore eyes.  I was very thankful to have the encouragement.  There first time up the climb I attacked and got a 50 meter gap.  I was trying to draw folks out, but also get a head start on the climb.  The group caught and passed me 1/3 up the climb.  I put my head down and watched the group ride away.  At this point I was thinking about turning around, taking a shower, eating a donut, maybe having some Sour Patch Kids.  I got to the top and heard and official say 1:30.  I could see the group in distance, and noticed it had swelled meanding folks were sitting up.  With the tail wind and decent I punched it for a minute or two to see how I felt.  I caught 4 dudes and sat on for 5 or so minutes.  I was still bummed about our chances of catching back on and thoughts of a cheeseburger crept back into my head.  I started rotating with the group and caught a glimpse of the peleton over a rise.  For the next 5 miles we chased all out.  I came around a corner and saw the car train.  I sprinted out of the small group and soloed until I caught the draft of the last car.  I worked my way through the cars and was pack in the peleton like nothing had happened.  Folks were chatting and eating...having a grand old time.  Meanwhile, I was suffering like a dog.  On my getting dropped adventure I had loaded up on water bottles from the feed zone.  So, when I caught back on I wanted to help the team but my legs were shot.  I rode up to Joe and offered him water.  I think he laughed a little bit (I laughed too), it was my sad attempt of being a teammate.  The rest of the day was spent trying to force down food and hang on the back of a 20mph tempo ride.  

New recruit Megan killed the TT in the 4's race with a strong 2nd.  K Grove grabbed another 2nd in the crit.  She rode on the front and kept things aggressive and safe.  T-Money (Tamara) kept it consistent all weekend.  She won the GC in the ladies 3's and was on point all weekend.  Congrats T!

J Tack had a solid race.  He made every split and rode to a strong 26th place on GC.  His TT and final climb held him back, but he performed consistently all weekend and showed that the form is coming.  Bob rode well in the 3's.  The highlight was a 8th place in the brutal 75 mile RR.  I tried to help him on the first lap, but I was no help on the 2nd lap....barely hanging.  Chalmers rode to a consistent 26th on GC.  He road well in the RR and time trial.  Keep in mind on these results that the 1,2 field had 120 starters and the 3's had 98 starters.  Steve road well in the 4's.  I thought his crit performace was very inspiring.  He rode in the top ten all race, and made sure he was a force.

Montana had a good showing.  Brad Morgan looked great in the crit.  He was riding up front, chasing things down, it was fun to watch.  John Curry had a great ride on Friday to make the select group of 30 riders (believe me no easy task, 60mph winds).  Sebastian White and Alex L were in the 3 race and rode strong for GAS all three days.  Frank G was also there and stayed consistent mid pack.  Willy Z had a great time trial finishing 36th.  He also rode great in the crit, staying with the selection.  Erik D had a consistent weekend, with the highlight being a solid crit where he flew the flag for 5VV.

RACE OBSERVATIONS:
-Ian Tubbs still has it.  He came around in the 1,2 crit and no one was going to pass him.  Great win for the new Carter Team
-Canadians are fast.  Symmetrics and Red Truck Team dominated the race.  Young and fast.
-Tamara is ready to be a cat 2, great job
-NW Racers have TT bikes, MT Racers don't
-Kenny "the cash register" Williams showed up in the crit with two big $100 sprints
-Willy Z is creeping up, watch out in the coming years

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