Bisbee, if you haven’t been there, then go there. Next year, same time, same place. This is a great race that has some history. 32 years running to be exact. Way back in the day Lemond won this one when he was 16 or some shit like that. Way before he won any tours or anything. There is a ton of history in that town both with the mines and the bike racing. It used to be the hot spot for training camps, is what they tell me.
Ok, on to the report. The usual 1.8 mile prologue was shortened due to some mud slides or something the week before? Who knows, all I know is that last .8 of the course is a real bitch. Some of those pitches in there have to be 10%, and when you going full stick slobbering on your top tube trying to turn some circles then it out-right sucks. That means less climbing which is good if your my size.
PT in 1st
Cool guy from WV in second
Snake in 3rd
Green Apple in 4th
And so on…. That means Ride Clean is 1, 3, 4. A good position to be in but we only have 4 guys on the team so the 4th Double D is going to have to work his ass off……(which he did).
Here is a good photo taken of the prologue course. A little Euro feel to that town for sure.
Saturday morning consists of a 110K RR. It finishes on a 2 mile climb or so. Not super steep but enough to sap your legs for sure. But, lets back up a little bit and talk team work.
There is no way in hell that we could have won this stage or the overall without Double D or Green Apple. Double D was doing double duty on the front trying to roll people back in and stay up front. Which in itself is a tall order. After the KOM Green Apple decided to take things into his own hands and save us all a world of work. He plain and simple just rode off for the next 50k. Just like that. We had just come over the top of the KOM into a table top of sorts on a hill. Lots of cross winds and lots of guys breathing hard and hanging on for dear life. A few nasty eschelons were going and Green Apple must have reverted back to his days in Belgium racing for Friets and Mayo. Anyway there he goes and off he went. He built up a max of 1:45 and in doing so did a bunch of things at once. 1. He saved Double D a shit ton of work. 2. He won the green jersey 3. Basically fucked himself for the TT that night and gave up his chances of a high GC finish. 4. Took all the pressure off of us (yellow jersey) and took it on his shoulders.
Since he was the break and the yellow jersey at that point it was up to the field to drag his ass back. Well played sir, well played. On Ride Clean we don’t care who wins, just as long as he is wearing Ride Clean. After a few bridge attempts and some concerted chasing by the rest of the field Green Apple did come back. But he wasn’t done quite yet….. As we approached the last 5K he takes a monster pull to put PT and myself up near the front and then somehow manages to hang on for 8th on the stage?? How, don’t ask me. The kid can dig deep. Back to the race. With 1k to go the Cool Guy from WV makes a pretty good jump at. PT is on him like white on rice and we all get back to terms. But in the process he pulls 6 or 7 of us clear. After he realizes that we are with him he sits back down and the cat and mouse shit starts. Well, more mouse than cat at that point. Then with about 300 or so to go I hit out. I take a peak back and see a good amount of daylight. Good stuff. That results in this:
Two stages down, two stage wins for Ride Clean. But, again, this stuff doesn’t happen if you don’t have teammates who are willing to lay it all on the line and a drop of a hat. Great work to Double D and to Green Apple.
Saturday afternoon TT. 8 miles or so, I’m not really sure how long. It doesn’t really matter. Double stage days suck. No one feels good and when your getting old like me they really suck. Long story short is that the race is giving out yellow skin suits to the leaders. How fucking cool is that??? So PT gets yellow for the road race and now yellow for the TT!!!! Anyway we run into one of Lances best friends there at the TT. His nick name is College. He wins by 6 seconds over PT and I’m back 16 seconds or something from College. Turns out that College is a super cool guy that owns a bar in Austin TX. Funny as hell and a really good TT guy it turns out. I wonder if he got to spend some time in the wind tunnel??? He looked aero anyway.
Sunday 110k with 6k of climbing. Bisbee usually comes down to this day. You go through a bunch of rollers and lots of possible cross wind sections to climb 5.5 miles down 3 miles like a stone in a pool only to go though a round about and 1.8 back to the finish line. The peloton must have been gotten their sleep that night because they came out swinging. Double D had his hands full from the word go so we had to let a few groups go up the road just so things would settle down. After the break had gone away things did settle down and the race was set for the day. Some guys up the road racing for the stage and the rest of us battling it out for the GC. Turns out that 190 lb College can climb as well. It took a long time for us to get rid of him but we did it. Double D was taking some huge turns into the base of the climb, Green Apple then took over and just about popped himself in the process. Green Apple got it down to about 10 or so on by the middle to upper part of the climb. Then the attacking really started. Green Apple said his goodbyes and I had to try to get on terms. One guy from B Haus kept railing it and I was getting pissed trying to bring him back each time. I just said to myself fuck it next time he goes I’m going with him and then I’m going to counter the shit out of it. Sure as peeing in the wind will get you wet he goes, I go with him PT right on my ass and daylight between PT and College. It’s on.
I bury myself for 2K up and over the climb. College is no where to be seen and my lungs feel like they are filling up with gasoline. On the down hill side PT start to pull and nearly melts my face on a few. Nothing like sitting in for 2 days then starting to pull eh PT?? Fuck easy next time, Ok. Nice and smooth….. Down the decent we go, I’m thinking College can TT so he might get back on?? Turns out that PT was motivated to help me into second on GC so like two stones in a pool down to the bottom and around the round about. then 1.8 or so back up to the finish line. We were trying to kill each other for the time on College and turned out we had some time to spare. All in all a good weekend of racing! Yellow from day one to the last stage and a green jersey mixed in there as well!
Again, yellows just don’t happen. It takes shit ton of work from guys like Double D and Green Apple. Guys who are willing to set aside their personal ambitions and ride for the team. So, the next time you’re at a race and some pro is dragging his ass in 15 min down on the stage because he pulled all fucking day, tell him good job and good work. Be a great teammate.
I’m 4 beers in and its only 3:51 on a Tuesday. Whats in your wallet?