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....