A good week of racing it was. I needed it and enjoyed the competition. There were a few highlights for me from the stages that I’m happy to share with you. On the first stage Michel Kreder was crashed by someone, he doesn’t know who. He was less than happy about it. To soothe his anger that night we watched Hulk vs. Wolverine and he seemed to like it. What am I a doctor now? When he woke up he said he was going to be like the Hulk today. Excellent, I’m releasing this patient on the peloton.
It would be a two stage day with a circuit race in the morning and then a time trial in the afternoon. We did the early morning stage with some stressful circuits but Michel pulled out his first professional win beating Bennati in the sprint. Take that! The Hulk indeed. So later in the day we had a Time Trial. David Millar and I were ready to do good TT rides. We basically came in with the same finishing time (ok, he beat me by less than a second, bastard). But in the end we were both beat by a great time trial from Bennati.
The next day as the attacks were going I asked my former teammate Svein Tuft (now riding for SpiderTech) if he wanted to go in a break with me. Svein is cast from a similar mold as myself and we always got along when we rode together on Garmin. He said sure. Like myself, Svein is usually up for a little adventure. We moved up the peloton approaching a roundabout and the field took it on the right, so we sprinted on the left and were going rather fast. We got a gap and just kept rolling. See ya. We wanted to put the pressure on the field so we never let up. But it was a truly hard day and we were both super salty. We had some fun pushing the pace but we didn’t say much to each other out there as we were simply going too hard to talk.
The last day looked like it should’ve been fairly easy according to the stage profile but I soon found out otherwise. My legs were a bit sore from the day before and the temperature was soaring in summer-like conditions. We sent our neo pro Ramunas up the road as he wasn’t that far back on GC so they had to chase but the peloton was not putting a dent into him. He was going all Honey Badger on those guys (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qsclhKhAss). We got to the finishing circuit and it was a rather difficult one. I had to talk myself through it lap by lap and finally finished the race…cooked.
Surprisingly I still have to remind people not to underestimate the power of the Hulk nor the cunning of that small weasel-like creature the Honey Badger. But it was a good week of racing for sure because, in part, I enjoy and need the early season work and, in part, because there’s always something to teach and someone willing to learn.