Wednesday, May 14, 2008

JOE the books

Another year...another Joe Martin in the books...but this year, different to before a stage win to gloat part is, its not self gloating but instead talking about Teddy finally cracking a big one. But not just any big one...the same stage that he has come so close to winning the past 2 years. He timed his move perfectly this year and it helped him move into 5th on GC for the tour which was a good effort.

My tour....well, like i said before i went, i was going there to win. Unfortunately a less than great TT on the opening day meant for a change of tactics and Friday's road race saw me on the attack trying to isolate Rory (Health Net) and try and get some time back. Thought we had the perfect break, over the top of the big climb for the day, with 10 guys and all the big teams represented...but alas, some soft turns in the break and Jelly Belly deciding to bring it back...for what reason i dont know, as they had a guy in the move....and the break was coming back. I attacked again and ended up solo with 5km to go but was caught by the lead out trains coming into town and the tactic had back fired.

After Teddy's win on the Sat...the crit became a different focus and we tried a do or die move with 3 laps remaining to get him the 29secs he needed to take the GC...but it was to no avail. Health Net rode a pretty amazing criterium. They controlled all the attacks and really never were put under too much pressure, with Rory coming out on top fairly easily in the end.....but at least we tried...which is more than i can say for some.

This is me...hitting a corner during the criterium...seemingly pedalling through it...which seems dodgy...

Joao...with the facial injuries he sustained in his over exuberant celebration of Teddy's win...ouch

Another shot from the crit...starting up the hill that makes this one of the tougher circuits of the year.

Colavita impressed again with 2 stage wins and a strong team performance to take out the teams classification. There is no doubt they are one of the stronger domestic teams this year and deserve a slightly better run then they have been handed.

But now...its time to get ready for the 1 day races. I am in Boulder, Colorado and checking out what it is that people find so special about this place. I have been impressed so far from what i have seen, apart from the rain. A couple of easy recovery days for me and then i am back into full training and getting ready for Philly week. Im off to pick up Katey in Denver later tonight and look very much forward to seeing her again after what has been a hard year...since i have only seen her for a week since January....thats a long time...too long.

So keep a look out for some Boulder tails...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Georgia...done and dusted...time to get back to reality

So after a slightly disappointing finish to 12th place in the last thanks to 2 flats in the last 25km which wasted a lot of the team on getting me back and saw me hit a big wall with 100m to go, when i could have been a legitimate shot for 3rd on the is time to get back to reality...and that means regular races.

So we had a couple of crits this weekend which were dominated by Toyota. We rode ok as a team of 5 without really setting the world on fire. A couple of top 10's for me and 4th for Teddy in Roswell was about all we took out of the weekend...but more important than that, were the lessons we learnt as a team. Toyota and Health Net gave us some schooling in the risks that need to be taken in tight and fast criterium racing and i hope that we will move into the future as a better, classier unit.

Kate and her team stepped it up a notch in Switzerland over the weekend and raced hard to put Judith into 2nd spot and with that, the World Cup lead. I imagine that she could extend that lead in the upcoming Montreal WC...a race that she has done well with before. Not forgetting Chantal B, who came in 4th and moved herself into 4th place in the WC standings with that..So congrats to them all for what has been a stella season so far.

Have to give a shout out to the rest of my team...who flogged themselves in Gila and got some awesome results. 2 stage wins, the leaders jersey for 2 days and 2nd on GC to finish the tour. But for those of you who had not seen...Zirbel came down hard on the last day, while leading the tour and broke a rib and his GET WELL SOON TOMMY Z....

Next for me and the crit team is the Joe Martin...2 top 10's in the last 2 years has me heading there with some confidence that we can challenge for the overall win. With a team of 5 it is going to come down to some savvy tactics and smart racing, but we have the boys to get it done, so i am thoroughly looking forward to it. Ill try and keep you all posted.

Until then....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stage 6...beaten up by Brasstown

Stage 6 is over and done with....and the fears of time cuts and impending death on the famous Brasstown Mtn have long subsided. The team made it through the stage unscathed and we have a full roster of 8 to ride into the finish tomorrow. This stage last year were were down 2 men and that had implications for our sprint power in the following 2 flat stages.

Today went well for us and we hit the final climb with 4 of us left in the main group. I somehow suffered my way over the first 2 climbs of the day so that i could go as easily up Brasstown as is possible. eventually coming in 11mins behind the winner. It was a hard day with a lot of teams playing aggressive cards in the GC battle to try and crack Slipstream. By the end of the day, Slipstream had lost the lead...but i must say that they rode a pretty amazing stage and it was just a strong rider who got the best of them in the end. Im going to single out Danny Pate who i thought rode like an was pretty exceptional. It was all however to no avail as Trent just couldn't stay with the High Road winner and gave up his GC lead by a measly 4seconds.

Some good photos have emerged from yesterday...not often you get them, so ill share some with you.

I got a nice gap after jumping out of the last corner.

Apparently i was happy when i crossed the line in first.

Always a nice part of making the podium

Those arent bad names on either side of me
You can also check out my online interview at

Now we are heading into the final stage with 8 guys and renewed confidence for a good result tomorrow. Last year i finished 6th on this circuit and the plan is to improve on this in tomorrows finish. Looks like rain and thunderstorms could be a factor that could influence the race...but it should be hard and fast with a few battles still going on in the sprint and GC competition.

Hope to join you tomorrow with some good news...or at least a good story.