Thursday, April 15, 2010
What an experience! Just to be competing in Paris-Roubaix is a dream to most people and until last Sunday it had always been one for me. Now it's a reality. I was able to not only race in Paris-Roubaix, but I was also one of the front runners. After about 90 kilometers out of the 125 I was one of the only ones that was able to stay with the World Champion, Jasper Stuyven, of Belgium along with Daniel Mclay of Great Britain. We were later joined by a Russian rider. We stayed away until the end of the race and fought it out for the win on the famous Roubaix velodrome. I was able to take third place in the sprint with Stuyven winning by about half a bike. It was incredibly close between me and Mclay, but he nipped me with a bike throw. For the podium we stood on the same podium that the pros stand on, and with the pro race being the same day there were tons of fans all around the stadium. It was definitely a moment I'll never ever ever forget! The team did an absolutely amazing job, and I honestly would not have been able to do what I did without them. About one kilometer from the first section of cobbles (one of the most crucial points in the race) I flatted, but one of my selfless teammates, David Kessler, stopped and gave me his wheel. I was then able to make it back up to the peleton with the help of Peter Taylor and Matt Libscomb who basically motorpaced me up to the pack. For the rest of the race Juan Carmona was an excellent teammate by helping me move throughout the pack and giving up his water for me and my other teammate, Ryan Eastman. It really was a team effort and a team podium place. Also, without the encouragement and advice from our team director, Ben Sharp, we couldn't have done it.
Photos of the race:
Video of the finish on facebook:
Video of the finish and podium on Youtube:
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The last two stages in Limburg went pretty well, or a lot better than the second stage at least! Stage three was definitely a race I would call epic with hail starting to come down from the skys about 40 km into the race. Being a true blood Texan and everything my first instinct was to attack. I rocketed off the front of the pack on the next KOM and brought 6 others with me including my teammate, Ryan Eastman. We worked well together and quickly built up a lead of about a minute. On the finishing circuits with about 12 km to go I blew HARD on the long, steep climb and ended up getting caught by the pack and then spit off the back of that. I ended up finished 8 minutes back...haha. The final stage was probably one of the best. I got into a 10 man break about 10 km into the 125 stage. A group of about 5 that had Eastman in it bridged up to us about 15-20 km later and we had about a minute. We all worked somewhat well together and stayed away until about 20 km to go. I looked back and saw the pack about 5 seconds back on the climb. I then attacked off the front of the break and three others came with me. Next thing we knew it was about 8 km left in the race and we had 45 seconds. Two others bridged up to us which made it 6 of us. We ended up staying away until the finish. I tried to suprise the break going around a turn with 250 meters to go and got a small gap, but I blew up with 50 meters to go and ended up finishing 5th on the stage. Still not bad at all. Tomorrow is the junior Paris-Roubaix and the for the first time in three years the Junior National Team will be lining up on the start line.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
So, I definitely should have updated my blog a looong time ago, but I kept putting it off. I'm currently in the Limburg region of Belgium for the Ster van Zuid Limburg Stage Race. We have a few hours before we depart for the next stage, so I thought what better time than now to update my blog. The race started off pretty well when I won the 5 km prologue by 6 seconds over Danny van Poppel and 8 seconds over Mike de Bie (both riders have amazing racing blood). The team (Ryan Eastman from Cali, Juan Carmona from Conneticut, Peter Taylor from Cali, David Kessler from Colorado, Matt Libscomb from Georgia, and me) did really well with Eastman placing 7th and Kessler getting a solid 11th place. Stage 2 didnt really go too well and we ended up losing the yellow jersey due to a break going away on the finishing circuits, and we didn't have the horsepower to bring them back. Stage 3 starts in a couple hours and it looks like its gonna be another epic day. It's about 9 degrees celcius and raining, woohoo!! I'll keep ya'll updated on how it goes.