Saturday, September 5, 2009

So We're Here in Vermont.

It turns out, I love Vermont.

I did this again:

Aside from wondering (out loud, repeatedly) why I'm such an idiot, and why I failed to learn the LAST time I did this, I was able to solve the problem quite easily. The local bike shop was willing to loan me a new post for free for the time that I'm here -- and it's a Thompson, not a Thud Buster.

We had dinner here, at American Flatbread (a Vermont institution), and the place warmed my soul as much as the pizza dazzled my tongue. If you've got time, poke around their website a little. Read what the place is about, what they stand for, and how they run their business. I'd suggest reading some of the Dedications (this week's menu is dedicated to...). The current one (not up yet -- it will be) so poignantly captured some of modernity's greatest troubles, I was unexpectedly touched and inspired.

We've also been at a bike race. Adrian, if you'll forgive me, I'll borrow your words to describe what's been going on:

Friday's 10k TT.

Finished up the prologue here in Vermont. Sam and I had a rough travel day yesterday, around 15hrs in transit without a ride. We were shellacked today and no one felt stellar. I was the top finisher in third behind Dan Vaillancourt (Colavita, 8sec up) and Jonathan Chodroff (OUCH, 2sec up). Sam had a bad day and finished 39th, but it shouldn't matter much for GC as the gaps will get big from here out.

Bing and Alan are racing in the 2s and had a so-so day, neither went ballistic and will be looking to the later stages for opportunities on the climbs. We all did better than Sam's 30sec man though, who somehow took himself out {crashed} at an uphill finish of a time trial on a road bike. Wow.

We have a great host house, same as last year with the team (formerly Fiordifruita). We also got an awesome loaner team vehicle (see pics). Tomorrow is a rolling circuit race that should end with a sprint. Time bonuses go 5 deep and I could take the jersey with a first or second. More updates as they come, and Alan is updating the team twitter account to boot.

And today's 76 mile circuit race.

Things are picking up across the board for us here in Vermont. Today's stage was a very dicey, rolly stage that ended in a sprint. Sam swung the axe early in the stage and got into a few unsuccessful breaks, was off solo for a bit, then took some monster pulls on the final lap to single-handedly bring back a dangerous move. With 3k to go he took me to the front through litany of crashes, and I finished third again. But I also got an 8sec time bonus so I moved up to second and am tied for first on time.

Alan, Bing and Stoney had a less eventful day in what apparently was a more gentlemanly race. The HB leadout train apparently plowed its way to the front with about 1.5k to go, but Bing faded a bit in the headwind sprint with cramping legs.

Tomorrow is the queen stage with lots of long, steep climbs on tap. That should just about wrap up the GC, though Monday's crit has enough time bonuses to keep things interesting. Right now I'm just hoping to make it to the finish and exorcise my demons from last year. Pulling on the jersey would be a great way to finish that process.

That's about it. More Vermont goodness to come I hope!

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