Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


20 June 2009

Back Into Gear.

Time has slipped away and it's already long overdue for an update, especially post Nature Valley GP last week. Well, in short, it was a great week for me, coming out with the best NRC result to date, with a 24rd GC spot (5th amateur) and sneaking into the top 20 on the Stillwater crit. And right now, almost a week later I'm still in the box. Plans were to head out to St Louis for Tour de Winghaven this weekend but I'm pretty toasted right now so its a good as time as any to schedule in a little mid season break.
First day TT warm up with Keck..

Out on it. Didn't have a super TT, but only having done a handful I still enjoy the novelty of all the kick ass go-fast gear....thanks Tucker!

The lads warming up pre downtown St. Paul criterium.

Rocking the green and gold...ahhhh

First things first, the whole Nature Valley Pro Ride experience was fantastic. Great people to work with from the managerial side of things, and a great bunch of team-mates to race with also. It sure was a tough week of racing, really coming down to the final two stages for a major GC shake up. The Makato road stage was pretty sweet. It was tame most of the day with a break up the road, and once we got into the finishing circuits all hell broke loose. Only four circuits but my word, a nasty climb in there that shattered the field to pieces. I hung in there and minized the damage as best I could.

Another TT shot. This one should have gone with the other pics above, but for whatever reason this site is being a turkey this morning.

First time up the hill for Stillwater. The pic doesn't do the hill justice.

The final stage at Stillwater was insane. Probably the nastiest crit circuit I have ever ridden, with a huge steep hill maxing out at 24% and an average gradient of 18%. And then there was another rise further along. Not as bad, but still a kick in the pants before the fast decent back to the finish. And speaking of the finish, the final corner into the home straight featured a sweet lump in the road that kicked you fwd into the gutter side of the off camber straight away. So in other words, it was rad to the max, and we had 20 laps to throw down and make it happen.

Top part of the hill. The crowd was unreal!

As the week progressed the legs felt better and better, so being of the lighter side of things, I was looking forward to giving Stillwater a crack, and gaining some time on the GC. From the gun I knew I had some semi-decent legs going on, and I lasted with the lead group until the final two laps. It was pretty crazy coming into the hill each lap, with the crowd pushing you into a narrow funnel of the road, and trying to avoid guys mis-shifting or simply blowing up. In the end I came home 20th which gave my GC a nice boost.

Overall I'd like to give a big shout of of thanks to Matt A and Josh R, Pat and Ty @ Penn Cycle and all those who were associated with the team. It was a great week and I can't thank you guys enough for the rockstar treatment everyday. Cheers guys!

Also it was awesome to have my best personal support crew out there, being Kat and of course the bro (who did and awesome effort after we literally shoved him in the car from DIA and drove straight to Minneapolis). Yes readers, the Green is back in Colorado!

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