So I have just completed, arguably, my most successful ever tour. I finished 5th on GC behind some pretty handy bike riders in Gord Fraser, Scott Moninger, Ivan Stevic and Nathan O'Neill. It was for me a coming of age in tour riding, where I was able, for the first time in my career, ride a decent uphill time trial to remain in GC contention. Unfortunately my plan for cracking a top 3 in the GC was foiled when I ran out of room in the sprint of the criterium and was robbed of my chance for a win and ended up in 3rd. the time bonus from 2nd would have been enough for me to make the podium and aside from that I was very confident that I was on my way to the victory......oh well.....it would have ruined Health Net's clean sweep of all 4 stages and I would have hated to get in the way of that.....I like to do everything I can to give Gord and the boys all the confidence they need leading into all the big races coming up in June.
So any way....on the first road stage, as my title suggests, I launched 2 attacks mid way up a 10km climb. Never have I felt comfortable enough to even consider such and idea.....so I'm very happy with where my form is at. Unfortunately a puncture with 20km to go and the subsequent 10km chase, foiled my chances at a high stage finish, however Ted held up the teams end and ran 4th for the day, after a great finish. Day 2 saw me run 3rd in the bunch sprint, after Ted was caught with 4km to go, after 140km off the front of the race in a break......so I felt it only fair that I gave the kick a good go....3rd wasn't bad but I was a little disappointed with how I planned my sprint. The TT was by far the most amazing accomplishment of my weekend.....I used a massive gear and somehow finished only 13 secs shy of Moninger and 6th for the stage....It wasn't pretty but it got the job done, WOW! Then the crit is history, Health Net rode well to control the breaks and I ran with my chances for the uphill sprint, where I was confident that I could take the win and the time bonus....no luck. Still 5th was a big step forward for me. Big shout out to the team, we really started to gel this weekend and iron out some kinks. Eddy in particular was my right hand man, kept me out of trouble all weekend and with some help from the others we laid down some good results....although I you read the cycling news reports, you could be forgiven for thinking we weren't even racing.
Kate is also here now and raced the women's race....She was suffering from some jet lag and winded up in 15th on GC, after top 10's in all the bunch stages. Just wasn't a big fan of the uphill TT. When she arrived....funny story really....I went to the wrong airport to pick her up. It was a bit of a balls up....and to add to the drama there was a massive thunderstorm going on.....finally, 60 mins after her landing I turned up to a slightly disappointed girlfriend sitting in a virtually empty foyer at 12.15am.....not the best start....but I think she has forgiven me now. She is with us for 2.5 weeks and competing in the same races until she heads off to Montreal. It is great to be able to spend time together and still be able to do our jobs.....and after my good form this weekend, my team would be crazy to not try and get her to hang around for the remainder of the season.
So that's about it for me this week....a big shout out to my mother and any other mother who reads this....for a HAPPY MOHTER'S DAY. Love you Mum.
Also just wanted to let my readers know that I got 1 up on Menzie's this week....I beat the time he did on the same course in the uphill TT this weekend....I rode 8.43 for the 4km....Menzie's rode 9.00 last year. In his defense he did score an extra podium over me and was able to finish in 2nd overall...which I couldn't manage. But little victories are all I'm after.