Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


08 May 2009

Wrapping Up The Gila.

Looking back on Gila I'm slowly starting to realise just how mammoth a week that really was. Physically it is a super tough race with the amount of climbing and its hard to recover thanks to the altitude. Throw in the mix the strongest field I will race against this year (courtesy of team MJ's, BMC and every domestic pro team there minus Jelly Belly) it's no wonder I'm still feeling like I've been beaten by cricket bats. The final two stages went pretty well for me, feeling good in the downtown criterium (which was huge thanks to LA), but conserving energy for the final Gila Monster stage. That stage is wicked! A tidy 170km day with 9100ft of climbing to finish the week off. I played it cool in the bunch, knowing the Cat.1 climb after the turn around point is where it would go down. Unfortunately there were many crashes up until that point, and seeing Nydam lying on the road motionless as we flew by was a horrible wishes for a speedy recovery. Team-mate Tucker also hit the deck and had to get a spare bike and unfortunately didn't finish the stage.

So the split did happen on the steep start on the Cat. 1 climb where the Armstrong group rode away. The early break (which Ian was in) had blew up on the same climb, and by the summit I was in a little group driven hard by a couple of Cal-Giant guys. The last 15miles heading up to the finish into Pinos Altos were pretty rough, just trying to hang onto the group, eventually coming home 33rd, 6.51 down. Not too bad considering some lost over an hour on this stage. GC wise I rocketed up to 41st place. Obviously I gambled hard on the first stage being in the break and lost big time after I blew at the bottom of the Mogollon, but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained right?

My photo taking abilties for the week sucked. This is my only shot (which Tucker took actually). That massive brown RV on the right is Lance's for all those fans out there...

This week is a nice recovery week for me, only being on two wheels a couple of times this week so far. It was also time to finally plant our seedlings in the ground...fingers crossed we yield more than last year! Over N'

No comments: