Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


06 May 2010

Tour Of The Gila Wrap Up.

So I guess I dropped the ball on the rest of the coverage for the Gila...sorry folks! Well firstly check out these videos done by the fellas at SRAM.  I think it's a really cool thing that they have stepped in, saved this great race from the brink of extinction and made it their own.  That to me translates into just how much this company loves cycling and are passionate about it's growth.  Just one of the many reason's why I think SRAM is a great company ......way to go guys, thanks for supporting racing.


I didn't write much about stage two because basically I was in a world of hurt afterward.  The winds gusts were as reported.....crazy!  I was lucky to make the front group early and burned a lot of biscuits to make the split.  I remember at one point just going full gas and then standing outta the saddle only to have my arms cramp and almost crash.  Yes folk's when your arms give out from underneath you, you know you're going hard!  Once in the front group life was pretty chilled, apart from the bone-head rider from AC who though he was Mick Doohan and chopped me inside on the Sapillo descent.  Wanker.  Stage finished with the standard crosswind gutter ball game that we started a few hours ago.  I almost ate it hard in the gravel edges of the road with my front wheel swinging away.

This was Bisbee.  Used the same clothes and helmet for Gila so just pretend!

The TT once again the wind played a factor.  It wasn't as bad as stage two, but in hindsight I was a little too courageous in using a tri-spoke front wheel.  I climbed well but descended pretty ordinarily just trying to control the bike.  Still I wasn't unhappy with my result at all (70th), and am learning more and more about time trialling as I gain experience.  Tis' an art people.

Crit was fun.  I flatted 10 laps in and had a few laughs with the Jose and the neutral support guys until it was back to work.  It took me what seemed like forever to get back to where I was and pretty much stayed in the middle pack soup for the rest of the race.  Krugh rode well for 20th and Holt was unlucky to get pinched in the 2nd corner to crack his frame.  Bummer.

The Gila monster.  For those who don't know about this stage you can check it out here.  Solid day out that's for sure, especially when you start at 5900ft from Silver City.  Windy again and a little chillier than normal with some predicted rain and snow.  Yep, light snow.  We rolled outta town and I was up the front being on break duty which turned out to be a good thing.  Didn't quite make it into the 14 man move that went up the road (I killed myself on the one before it), but as soon as we turned off the highway it was everyone's favorite game of gutter ball again and the peloton shattered.  Making the selection early meant I didn't have to play chasey like Holt who unfortunatley crashed badly and chased for 1.5hrs back to the bunch.  Ouch.  Fast forward to the first major climb and Mellow Johnnys set tempo pretty solidly and turned the screws all the way until the top.  I got gapped off with some Garmin guys about 1km to the summit and pulled some Sanchez moves to get back into the front bunch by the visitors center turn around.  By this stage the break was still away and we had 30 odd left in the front group, including Gray and myself for Rio.  The next category one climb after the turn around is a ripper.  It literally kicks you in the pants for the first couple of km's.  All I could do was set my own tempo from the bottom and pick off guys one by one.  Going too much into the red at the bottom of such a tough climb was going to do me no good.  So I waved goodbye to Lance/Levi and crew and just settled in.  Okay so I have a feeling this report is getting a little to long, but it was basically suffering in small groups over the next two climbs to the finish.  Floyd was on a mission and came by like a rocket ship in the last 10km and we hung on as he displayed some mad descending skills heading towards the finish in Pinos Altos.  In the end it was 28th for me on the day, and 2nd amateur.  I gotta report that in hope that any pro team directors are reading this for a roster addition in 2011.  I won't let you down!

Ian and I getting much amusement outta the Flip camera...

So wrapping up the final GC I was 38th (6th amateur) and had a much more consistent Gila than in years past.  Between Gila and Bisbee I am very happy with the results, considering they were our first big races for the year, against teams that have done San Dimas, Redlands etc. in their legs already.  So it's back to work this week (thank you to all my athletes who where patient with returning phone calls/emails) and time for some recovery.  Thanks for

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