Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


25 April 2010

La Vuelta de Bisbee.

There is a ton to write about the last few days.  First time down here in Bisbee, AZ which if you get on the old Googler Maps would notice that it's super close to the Mexico border.  To translate, there is a large amount of border security vehicles and patrols about to watch for any fence jumpers.  Yep we are that close.  Kinda a crazy concept coming from a land that doesn't border with anyone else.

So the drive down from Colorado was pretty solid to say the least.  Highlights (or low lights I should say) included Holt's bike almost flying off the van roof when the rear wheel strap broke and also running out of gas 3 miles before the servo. Never a dull moment for Team Rio Grande that's for sure.  So the town of Bisbee is pretty cool.  Has a real Euro feel to it with really narrow steep lane ways and quaint old buildings.  The race itself  is pretty straight forward, 3 days, four stages with two TT's and two road stages.  With the full squad here using it as a launch pad for Gila next week we were all pretty pumped to have a strong showing against Fly V and United being the two major pro teams here.

Okay so the last post outlined my prologue TT with a 14th place which I was more than happy about.  1.5miles uphill was a real lung buster but I felt I paced things well and happy to crack my first top 20 with an egg shaped helmet on.

Stage One threw us a curve ball that's for sure.  Apparently most of the time it comes down to a bunch finish, so our plan was to protect Gray (9th prologue) and stick Holt in the break as a safety net.  Needless to say when the break of 7 stayed away and gained 11min we were pretty shocked.  I guess Fly V and United were happy to plan their cards with Lill and Killun respectively rather than keep Rory in the jersey after he smashed the prologue.  So Holt took fourth on the stage outta the break and over night shot into 4th GC!  Cycling is pretty crazy sometimes and all of a sudden the rest of us were defending at top 5 spot.  That afternoon there was no rest for the wicked with a 7.2mile TT to suffer in.  Once again I have hit a purple streak with my TT'ing taking out 19th place.  Something in the water down here I think!  Holt rode well and didn't lose any time overall with the final road stage on Sunday.

So enter the time frame right now.  Sitting on the bed pretty tired after the 84mile slug fest this morning in the Bisbee sun.  My role was to patrol the breaks with Krughoff and Bingham early on and then spend the rest of the time looking after Holt.  After stage one's surprise pretty much every move was being brought back and quickly.  There were a couple of moves that I was semi confident in that we were away (one in particular with two Fly V and one United) but after 1.5hrs in I took a back seat.  This is where once again this sport threw a curve ball.  After rolling back through the caravan from a stopped nature break (yellow jersey included in the group) almost instantly a group of 11 rolled off the front and stuck.  Luckily Garcia made the move and represented the red and black.  Our group fluffed along really and pretty soon the break had 3minutes and were away.  I unfortunately hit a random hole and somehow knocked my front derailleur out of alignment causing some shifting havoc.  Major thanks to the United Healthcare wrench for the mechanical assistance and with the pace off it was a fairly easy chase back into the bunch.    The stage finished with a solid steady highway climb where guys were blowing up big time.  Luckily I was able to stay with Holt and help defend his GC position (5th was only 13sec behind and in our climbing group) and roll home the stage in 15th.  Garcia took 5th place and shot up the overall to 11th.  In the end it was 22nd GC spot for me and 3 outta 4 stages inside the top 20.   Full results here if you are interested.

So two days rest now and Gila starts next Wednesday.  Motivation is high in the Rio Camp, especially taking 3rd Team GC behind Fly V and amateur if you like.  So rest for me now.  Thanks for reading and enjoy the videos.  Later, cw.

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