I don't have many pics today coz my camera got blown away....day 2 at Tour of the Gila. Good day, once again everyone finished in one piece, which in this sport, is alot. Of course the riders always want more, but some days you take what you can get. I want more for the riders too but racing in conditions like today - you have to be happy to finish. Nate and Kevin both took a spill, Kevin on the twisty turny Pinos Altos descent, Nate on the stretch after the Sapillo descent on NM 35. Kevin just had a face like a mtn biker - covered in dirt; Nate took a hit on his elbow and had to get some stitches. He was pissed so I knew he was okay.... he is fine. Going to be sore and banged up, may hurt his TT elbow. But he did incredible - in the front group, said he had to bury it to chase back on after the fall (which happened coz someone threw their water bottle in the road). Blair got through the tough part, and on the twisty descent got stuck between groups. There are so many many skillsets one must acquire, to race this level racing. Having the legs is one thing, I think really important, but there are many other fears to conquer. It takes time. About 3-5 more years than most riders want to spend. I think of how many times I had to tell Nate he would have his day, alot. Many yrs. I know Nate won't mind me saying this coz it is true. Takes so much time and just when you figure out something, there is a new obstacle. But that is why I do love the sport. I didn't elaborate on this much; this sport of road racing is amazing. I have been through all spheres in this sports. Top to bottom and back and sideways. But the amount of support that goes into one single race, at this level, is extraordinary. The mult support systems are several. Each rider is dependent of these very special support systems. The riders that work as hard as they do; how can you not wanna support them? I come to a race like this (real) and again reminded just how extraordinary the sport is. Why I always want to be involved in it and will support road racers.
Back to the racing today; Blair had to do alot of extra work but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I remember many days like this. And I know how hard they are. I am just happy Blair has the power. One step at a time. All we can do. He was so close today, so close. Had he gotten into the group on the descent of Pinos Altos, I am sure he woulda been in that front group. Sure of it. So we need focus bit less on power now and more on certain skillsets. It will come Blair.
Cat 2 race with Kevin and Russ - this race was completely splintered to bits in the first 10 miles; it was a Brutal start (which I knew, had predicted, was going to happen). There was a time bonus sprint 6 miles into the race and the cross winds coming into the sprint were sick. I don't have words to describe the wind today. I was really afraid all hell was going to break loose from the gun. The first sprint happens, then you go about 1 more mile and turn right - and then climb for about 4 miles to Pinos Altos. Nate said the pace on that was sick. I can only imagine. When the cat 2 guys came through - it was in bits and pieces - 80+ guys destroyed in the first 10 miles. Russ and Kevin were both looking good. Kevin made it back on after his fall. I cannot remember exactly where Russ went but he launched hoping to bring some guys with him, and there you go. A successful break on a day when many people wanted to be swept away so they didn't have to fight the winds. It is so COOL!!! when the homeboys kick some butt in races like this. I love it. Nate in school and Blair working FT 9-5; racing against the pros, incredible. I wish I had lots of money and could sponsor the homeboys full on. But we all do what we can right and who knows what the future holds.
Russ's break stuck and we saw them coming into the last turn - Russ looked great!! One guy jumped and got clear, and then Russell Brown took a field sprint! I gave him lots of crap coz I remember him telling me he couldn't sprint. Never say never. Not in a sport that rewards commitment and consistency.
Pierre just called time to go get Nate. Chow down, relax, and tomorrow is the TT. Pro guys go first thing, cat 2's go last I just hope this wind dies down.
Bernard if you read this - Sram guys took care of Nate's bike but gave me hard time coz I didn't have a mechanic. But I mentioned your name and it worked like gold. Thanks