An update on my 2017 season opener with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
Bingen Fernandez inspired us throughout the Vuelta with this Henry Ford quote: "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."
Finally a hotel with strong enough wifi to post. The first ten action packed days have flown by. Enjoy!
I spent over six race-less weeks, watching the TDF on TV, and whipping myself through countless intervals. 2016 marked my 6th time racing the Tour of Utah. I've been on the winning team four times. Eager to return to the action, I anticipated our high altitude defence.
Oh La Vache!
I weaved to the finish, feeling downright ill, but believing, hoping, praying for Alex.
A stubborn resistance inspired by irrational hope and inflexible belief paid off. We both knew our worthy goal was impossible, but tried anyway.
It's a high speed game of chicken into every corner. Give an inch, lose a mile.
I came, I saw, I tried really hard. Another day in the breakaway, more race miles in the legs, and Moser on the podium.
Straight into the deep end... but hey, it's just like riding a bike, right?
The entire course was a tunnel of sound with 650,000 screaming partying fans. I'm proud to be a Virginian.
Do it yourself or die for the team. Fighting through a grand tour, whether attacking at the front or praying for survival, turns a body inside out and scrapes pretense from it's bones. By the third week we are exposed and vulnerable, calcified and inveterate. We need each other.
An atmosphere of last chance desperation mingled with numbing fatigue.
Until they were out of breath, I was booed and called names in various languages. “Sorry, guys, sorry, really, I have too. I’m sorry.” Then Moreno Moser launched.
“Spin, Mate! It’s only the first week.”
“I’m going to Vejer (the finish). You stay here because you’re injured.”
I’m excited to bring the experience from my first Grand Tour in France last year to the same physical and emotional roller coaster at the Spanish version.
On the steepest part of the climb I looked back and saw Joe charging toward us. It sent a shiver through me.
I was empty, out of water, out of gas, but I knew we had a chance, because the peloton was out of sight on the twisty roads.