Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


18 June 2010

In The Eye Of The Storm.

 Photo Credit - Lyne Lamourex

Nature Valley has been rolling for two days now and things have gotten off to a great start.  The first stage time trial went very well for me compared to last year and already I am in a much better position to get my hands onto a green jersey.  This year without being able to use time trial bikes I don't think it made too much of a difference with still the fast guys going fast and doing their thing. Zwizanski of Kelly Benefits currently holds the yellow perhaps after a smart move of putting a standard front end on a time trial frame.

The stage two criterium in downtown St Paul was solid, thanks to a number of crashes and United Healthcare showing us how's it's done in the last 10 laps with an unstoppable lead out train.  We had Phil Mann (guest riding for us from Bahati Foundation) for 18th but I don't think anything was getting around UHC that night..  Luckily I was able to stay safe and out of trouble, but most importantly not lose any time.  In fact I was able to gain some time and now I currently site 3rd in the amateur competition. The rest of the guys had a mixed night with a few crashes and broken parts but everyone will live to fight another day.

Last night was an incredible reminder of how mother nature rules above all else.  So only 18 miles into the Cannon Falls road race the moto ref patrols the peloton with the news that the stage will be stopped due to tornado warnings.  At this point we had Brad and Phil in a break that had rolled off the front and was looking dangerous!  At first it was a little crazy to digest, especially when you have been hanging all day (stage started at 5:00pm) for the race and the mind is fully in race mode.  But sure enough we were stopped and up until that point no doubt the conditions were challenging.  It was very windy, no rain, but certainly the skies were threatening hard and lightening was soon seen in the distance.  So with the bunch stopped there were a few murmurs about that we would race back into town, or perhaps just do the finishing circuits but in the end it was all called off for good.  Most of the guys all rolled back as one big bunch back into Cannon Falls until slowly but surely a few of the lucky ones were able to get picked up in their team cars (me included) to save the legs for another day.  Check out this link.  With around 33 tornadoes touching down across the state and two people killed I'm sure glad they made a smart decision.  I mean, if something did touch down close to us, where would 150 skinny guys in lycra hide on remote roads with nothing around them? After a quick Chipotle stop on the way home luckily our host town of Woodbury wasn't affected and we could sit on the back porch watching the lightening in the distance.  A crazy day for sure!

Friday morning here now and much calmer skies.  The racing will continue tonight at 7.45pm with the Minneapolis Crit then onto the two decisive stages - Menomonie and Stillwater on Sunday.  Should be a ripper!

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