Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


21 April 2008

Colorado Springs Classic.

Well a week between races and a week between posts...last weekend was a double header down south at Colorado Springs for some more fast racing action. I like the Springs and was looking forward to heading back down there after spending time there last year. First and foremost the view of this incredible mound of dirt looming over the city is just awesome..Pikes Peak, some 14,000ft up. Plus the mtb trails down here were some of the best I've ridden. Coming into the weekend I felt a slightly over done and perhaps in need of another recovery day to freshen up before turning the screws. It was a tough week of training and also dealing with radical weather changes from another midweek snow dump to some nicer warmth and sunshine. And wind. Holy smoke it had been blowing a gale all week, making training interesting with block head wind descents that seemed to take forever.

Sat was another late crit, a 6.00pm start which makes for a long day of hanging about and watching the 'Deadliest Catch' on the Discovery Channel. Damn those guys are madd. Although not quite the ruggedness of the Alaskan sea, the crit course was pretty gnarly in itself. A 18odeg hair pin turn, a sweeping down hill section and a short little kicker rise in dire need for some road work love. And super windy.

The field was strong once again, featuring a good smattering of the guys from the U23 Slipstream program...including some guys called Phinney and Summerhill who share some nice rainbow stripes and worlds medals respectively. Quality. With the prominence of so many different teams the style of racing crit is very tactical and calculated..and damn fast. I hung in there as best I could with some flat legs who were thinking it was more dinner time than race time. So pretty much a strong break went away featuring majority argyle colours. Other argyle-rs did a pretty good job of controlling the bunch and I scrapped home in the sprint for top 15.

Sunday morning the team was treated to a huge breakfast spread put on by Steve, the CO rep for Giant. After downing plenty of "mancakes", eggs, bacon and coffee the team was primed for the days road race. Plus getting a sneak peak of the new prototype TCR SL frame that High Road are riding at the moment was pretty cool...shame it was a medium-large! The race course was held out at the Air Force military base, and was the same one used for the 86' Worlds oh so many moons ago. Once again the wind was howling and made it hard to hold things steady coming from the side when it really whipped up. I don't think I've ever raced in anything like it. Even the portable toilets blew over by the end of the day.

With five laps to complete of a hilly course in such conditions it was pretty clear that it would be a race of smarts and survival. Rolling outta neutral and into a long open descent I was determined to stay in the front which proved a good move. The wind was unbelievable in this first section as we were hitting speeds of 85km/h plus trying to hold it steady. Within the first 5km already the carnage had begun. Coming off the decent in a right hand super quick sweeper I heard the nasty sounds of carbon snapping and guys hitting the tarmac behind me. Thankfully behind me. Apparently some guy collected the gutter when the road narrowed and it was not good news taking a few down with him, including two of our guys who escaped with broken bikes but thankfully no broken bones. Needless to say the next lap ambulance sighting was a little unsettling. With the winds so fierce there were guys getting shelled left right and centre every lap, more so in the cross winds on the flat than on the climbs we had to face. I keep to the front and managed to hang tough in the ever shrinking lead group over the next few laps, featuring once again scattered pro's from Slipsteam, Type 1, Toyota, Jelly Belly and Colavita amongst the local hitters. With two laps to go the attacks begun and all I could do is hold on as the guys who get paid to do this showed why they do, with a few escaping off the front. I held on with the front chase bunch and came home 15th. So another tough weekend of racing in the books and I'm just happy to get a solid result and keep all my skin...lator, cw.

This thing was promoting healthy living...yep.

PS- Hopefully lator today there will be a new addition to the garage..Kat is looking at a cool little transportational toy that should be a heap of fun...stay tuned...


Anonymous said...

Love you work mate..........perhaps one day the capatalist pig in me will cut together your blogs and epic stories and create a best seller. You might even get paid.

Keep biking and keep writing.


Kat said...

Taylor who? What's he ever done?