Stage 12… Damn! That is a lot of bike racing, with still many more days to go.
Since I am equally as tired from writing about all of my daily suffering as you are from reading about it, I figured today I would give a shortened version of the stage…and some thoughts that went through my head as the Spanish countryside flew by around me.
Today was another ‘supposed to be flat’ day that wasn’t. I have learned by now never to expect ‘easy’ or ‘flat’ and so I knew what was coming.
I suffered early, and often. A break went, but the road never stopped rolling. I briefly felt better as I got into a rhythm on the first climb…but then Stuart O’Grady got to the front and put me right back in the pain cave. I then almost got dropped on the next ‘climb-that-was-not-a-climb’, and continued to hold on over the second (and last) categorized climb.
As we geared up for the last rollers coming into the sprint I began to feel a bit better, getting up to the front and making sure Greg was taken care of. As we hit the last roller I was cooked, got dropped and rolled in with a grupetto that included my hombre Andrew Talansky who had been working hard at the front for the last half of the stage.
Another day, another…dollar? That saying doesn’t really apply here but I’ll leave it anyways. It sounds good, so…
I actually think a lot about this blog when we are racing, to pass the time… I think about what the title will be, what I will write, how I want to come across. Today I decided I was tired of delving into details about how bad my legs feel, and instead I though I would share some random tidbits. So here you go:
Pablo is, quite literally, the nicest professional bike rider I have ever raced with. If he needs to get by you he asks nicely and then when you move out of his way–he thanks you as if you have just saved his first-born child from the jaws of a black bear. Also, he encourages me. I have said hello to him once, in passing, but other than that we haven’t spoken…yet, when I’m going backwards on a climb, he will encourage me, saying things like ‘come on Taylor’, or ‘you can do it, Taylor’. Pablo is a man who leads by example, and I’m incredibly honored to be racing here with him. Some would say that assholes finish first, especially in this sport… Pablo is here, not to tell you, but to show you that even nice guys can win bike races, and win them in style. You’re the man Pablo!
My musette bag.
I grabbed a musette full of food and bottles from Fox our soigneur today, put it over my head, and replaced my bottles with new ones…but then I just left it slung over my shoulder. I was so tired I had no desire to take any food out, I had no desire to throw it away, I just kept it there. For about 10km…
I inadvertently launched a snot rocket directly into the face of my poor poor teammate Martin Kohler today. I apologized.
I desperately wanted to ask if I could ride the front late in the stage today…but remembered the 4500m of climbing we have tomorrow and decided yeahhh, maybe not.
Wow, the guy is incredible. Not only is he super nice, but he is my age, doing what he is doing… Really really impressive. He makes me feel like a pansy on a daily basis. C’est la vie! Big congrats to him and his team today.
Contador’s shirt and the Latino vs Anglo Saxon ‘war’.
Earlier this morning I tweeted a picture of Contador, in an interview, speaking about his ‘issues’…with a shirt that said ‘DIRTY’ in capital letters on it. I intended this picture to be a joke because let’s be honest–it was not the BEST wardrobe choice–but as per usual, some people thought I was making a statement to further THEIR belief that there is a separation in the pro peloton when it comes to Latinos vs Anglo-Saxons. Manuel Quinziato and I shared a good laugh about this. People love to start drama!
This area that we are racing in–I believe it is called Galicia–is absolutely gorgeous. Besides the pain I feel constantly when I’m on my bike, I really enjoy it.
I just arrived back to the hotel to grilled cheese sandwiches which almost made me jump for joy. Am snarfing down a couple now… These things remind me of my amazing mother who would make me grilled cheese sambos all the time when I was younger. Love you and miss you mom!! I’ll be home soon
Will be very difficult…I am hoping to make it out alive, and within time cut.
All for now.