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Racing in Uruguay, Redlands and Gila
Posted on 4/29/2011 12:08:47 PM

Hi readers, here’s an update on some of the racing I’ve done lately.

Let’s start with the Rutas Américas in Uruguay… there’s nothing like a little racing in the gutter to put hairs on your chest!

A Belarusian, a Dutchman, three Americans and myself riding in the back of a ute, yelling and cheering victory chants around the streets of a small Uruguay town: that's not a memory I'll quickly forget. When Chann put me down to go race in the cross winds of Uruguay I was nervous, but nerves soon turn to fatigue in a stage race and I was definitely better for having done it. With two days to go Jacob Rathe and I decided to try some thing, and it worked: we held off a charging bunch and Jacob took the stage.

That day involved camping out in a caravan park, riding in a ute to a hut for dinner and lunch and a camp fire. 24 hours later we were both battling in the last day with stomach problems to weak to come back to the bunch after bottles. Game over.

After a day of some epic travel and runs to (and in) the toilet, we arrived in Brazil for another five days competition, with the goals of more racing, getting some results and freeing the Brazilian bunch from the rule of Flavio, the best bike racer in the world. The racing in Brazil had it all - wind, hills, cobbles and potholes. Coming into the last day we had been successful in most of our goals and Andre the Belarussian hammer was a second away from the jersey, and I was tied for third. We lay it all on the road and had it not been for a tough headwind, I’m sure Andre would have ridden away with the win.

After that, it was time for Redlands. It’s funny coming back to the same races a year on. You can see exactly what’s changed. The same time last year, I was training with my older brother and hanging on at Redlands. This year, my older brother no longer rides, I’ve got a team that’s like a family and I was 'racing' Redlands.

The race went pretty well. On the last day it ended up with basically a group of 30 or 40 or so. We were trying to set up Raymond Kreder in the finish…I think he ended up third or fourth on the stage.

I was looking forward to getting back home after that race and getting stuck into a good training block. I got some hard rides in, did some local racing. I rode the Air Force Base race, which had local guys like Baldwin and Zirbel, and won that. It was good to get a hit out. It was pretty much the best I have felt all year, so that is encouraging to see heading towards the Tour of the Gila.

As regards my goals for Gila, we’ll have a better idea after the first day. It’s pretty flat all day, and then you hit a very steep last five kilometres. It is always hard to tell just how you have come out of it, especially if you haven’t raced in a couple of weeks.

I’d like to do something in the time trial there. I have been doing a fair bit on the TT bike, but I’m not quite sure what that form is. I would like to do a top ten, but it just depends. You could go in there with the idea of doing a top ten, and be out after the first day, or you could be in the hunt for the podium.

Anyway, I am just going to take it and see how it goes. I would like to do a ride on the last day…that is a really tough day, probably one of the harder days in US bike riding. Doing something there would be good…

Thanks for reading,


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