Wind, Pain and a Gold Medalists.

11Feb08

Whew. Tough weekend. Not high on the hours, but Saturday is one of the hardest, early season windy rides I’ve experienced in some time.

What happens when you have 25-30 mph winds and a bunch of top US pros on the front drilling it to test their form for Tour of California with 80 people on a group ride?

A split field, the gutter and pain.

Figuring, we would “roll out” of town easy, I didn’t pay too much attention to my position and was left in the second group when things split. Not content with that, I helped organize a chase and we were able to catch up with the group after the Carter Lake climb. On the way back, non other than an uber-fit Tyler Hamilton and a slew of seasoned, very fit pros went to the front and drilled it. We were moving along around 30 mph echeloned out heading back to Boulder with a cross wind of at least 25 mph.

Riders were popping off the group left and right. I almost made it back to town with the 12 or so remaining guys, but the effort earlier in the day did me in. I had to ride home the last few miles in a ridiculous head wind totally waxed.

Beautiful? Now, Imagine a 30 mph wind in your face:

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Sunday started out with hopes of less wind and more warmth. Instead, Boulder was greeted with a weather inversion. Boulder was covered in midwest-esque gloom and freezing cold, while 2000 feet above in the mountains, it was warm and sunny. Go figure.

After rolling down highway 36 with the 10 other guys who showed for the ride, we decided to take a left and head to Jamestown and then climb super-James. It was a nice day of tempo climbing with the sun in our face. Still very tired from Saturday, I felt good climbing. My humility grew as I noticed the gear Tyler was climbing with next to me. I was in my 25 and he seemed to be in his 18 or 19. Unreal. There is a reason this guy is a stage winner in the Giro and Tour and won a gold medal.

I’m glad to see him back and I look forward to watching him race again this year.

Mr. Hamilton in one of his many Rock Racing kits (yesterday was all black):

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We ended the ride with some coffee down in Boulder.

All in all, It was a nice weekend of brutal rides, sunny climbs and relaxing nights. I can’t complain.

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