Tag Archive for ‘Garmin Transitions’
Ah, the First Time. Everyone remembers their first time. And after many years of flirtation and “everything but,” last night was JV’s.
Garmin have finally managed to break their cherry to win a stage at the Tour. Now that the hoodoo has been cleared, I’m expecting multiple wins throughout the race, with Tyler Farrar being first cab off the rank tonight with the Stage 3 Bunch Sprint.
So I’m back after a 2 night lay-off with a bit of a ‘lergy-talk about bad timing! Last night sounded like a brilliant finale (although Gilbert winning is hardly a surprise).
I can’t wait to see what happens next in this race-the Teams TT is on tonight, and consequently there are a bunch of teams who are riding for a chance to hold the yellow jersey. Gilbert holding on by 3s over Cadel, and 6s over at least one bloke from every other team that can put together a decent TT means that the boys will be putting it all on the line in the hope of holding the yellow jersey at the end of the day.
Contingencies & Champions. The world road champs were held in Australia for the first time ever, and by lucky happenstance we had an Australian defending champion going into the race (Cadel Evans), and an Australian bronze medallist coming out of the race (Allan “Alby” Davis).
The build-up had been quite low key until the Friday, when we left from Canberra for Melbourne where the race would start…
It’s been a cool experience jumping off of the Garmin-Transitions train and into the Australian team for the past week.
Firstly there is getting to know the staff and riders much better than the nods and “hellos” that most Australians tend to throw at each other when bumping into each other on the normal pro circuit. Secondly there is the slow build of excitement for one of the key races of the cycling season, with our team being both the home nation, and also sporting the defending champion. It’s absolutely awesome!
Consistent Aggression. I’m in Ipswich, southeast England, and have finally found time to get finger to keyboard (what is the modern equivalent of “pen to paper”?) to scribble (again-what’s the digital version of scribbling?-such important questions on this blog!) down a little of what’s been going on.
This is a very cool race-it goes through beautiful countryside, and the number of fans out on the roads is incredible. There have been a lot of tough stages ranging from mini-Classics stages, through to out and out bunch sprints.
The finale of the Eneco Tour was a time trial, and as hoped, our man Svein defended brilliantly, winding up fifth overall for the race.
a Fail-athon. This was a great performance by the big fella, and the bare minimum of what I believe he deserves for his persistence, determination and talent.
Final Defense. The final road stage of the Eneco race was again lumpy, this time including roads from the Amstel Gold spring classic.
In particular the Mur de Huy, a nasty climb that starts on an increasingly steep grade until a left turn kicks the road up to around 20%.
Svein was still sitting in fourth place on GC, a couple of seconds away from the podium, and we were all hoping that he could stay in touch on this stage as he is in very good time trialling form, and may be able to do some damage on the final day time trial.
You’ve Bloody Done It. Stage 5 of the Eneco Tour had the race heading back into the bumpy territory that did so much damage on Stage 3, this time on similar roads to those used in the Amstel Gold spring classic.
Svein was still in contention for a podium position on the over all, and the main role for the boys was to make sure he didn’t lose time on any of his close rivals. That job unfortunately became more difficult on the start line as Robbie Hunter was too unwell to ride his bike, despite signing on for the start.
Minor Details. Today was the first stage that the boys didn’t have any specific job to do in the race. We had held the jersey for the first three days of the race, and will continue to fight out the general classification with Svein, but the stage today was quite flat, so it would not in any way effect the gc standings, meaning our boys finally had a low responsibility day.
Accordingly, those who have been feeling the pinch after some heavy days of hard work were able to take it easy in the bunch.
Into The Bumps. Stage 3 saw the profile go from pancake flat to very lumpy. It was bound to be a day where things were shaken up somewhat on the over all standings, but Canadian hardman/topbloke Svein Tuft is a quality athlete, so we were quite excited about still being in the mix.
The day was also pretty hot, meaning we had a large number of bottles to be handed out, in a lot more places than is normal, so Joachim our swannie designated to making up the bottles this week had a bit of work to do.
Ooh That’ll Hurt. Stage 2 of the Eneco Tour, and we shot southwards from northern Old Zeeland (I can’t help it) which is an amazing place-we were 6m below sea level and 100km inland on a bit of land that was ocean only 30yrs earlier! Incredible.
The stage was another flat one, so the boys knew that once again they would be doing most of the grunt work making sure that the stage’s breakaway riders didn’t get so far up the road that they took the lead from Svein.
Getting It Done. Yesterday was an interesting day for the team: we had Svein in the leader’s jersey, and so were obliged to control the race.
It’s a different vibe controlling the race to get close to the finish and then letting the sprinter teams take over: normally we’re in the situation of wanting to control things late, especially when Tyler’s in the show.
Watching the race unfold, it was great seeing the whole team rolling along on the front, particularly from a physiotherapy perspective as that is the place where they are least likely to get into trouble with crashes and the like.
The Wait and Hope. Yesterday was the start of the Eneco Tour, a race through the Netherlands, Belgium and (I think) Luxembourg. It’s a week-long race on the Pro Tour circuit, meaning it is one of the handful of races through the year from which teams can accumulate Pro Tour points and enhance their ranking.
The rankings determine key factors such as automatic entry into the biggest races of the following year, and so there is a great deal at stake in races such as this for all of Pro teams riding next year.
Stats Catch Up. Possibly the most boring blog post ever coming up.
Since the Tour, I’ve been having a relatively quiet time, reboosting the energy reserves, and catching up with the boys who need treatment in Girona as and if they need. And now, on the eve of heading off to the Eneco Tour, I finally get myself into gear to post another blog entry. Quality.
A week after the Tour, and Mands and I got ourselves over to San Sebastian for a bit of vacation relaxery after the saga that is the nose to the grindstone month of the Tour.
We needed to drop off some key stuff for the team that was working the race (as an excuse to get over to one of the coolest towns in Europe-not bad!) Two birds, one stone, all of that!
We rocked up at the team hotel the morning before all of the riders arrived, dropped off what was needed and skedaddled.