Monday, February 18, 2008

Post from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

Why do they call it Sky Harbor if were boarding airplanes? Do planes sail? Yes they go into the sky but they don't sail and their not boats. That's the type of question that I ponder at 12:30 in the morning after a 3 day stage race and before boarding a short red-eye to NYC. The short ones really suck. Not quite long enough to really get a good night's sleep and you leave really late and arrive really early. But before you go and feel bad for me. I did get upgraded. AGAIN! Thank you Delta. Tomorrow when I get home I've got closet's to refit. Luckily my father in law already started it last week and I just have to assemble a few things. I keep pushing house chores to the point where my wife basically threatens to divorce me if I don't do them. My personal record is 9 months, 23 days, 4 hours and 22 minutes to tighten a screw on a focet. Yes you say but its just a screw. But really I don't have time to screw around with a stupid screw. This time she literarly had the lawyer on the phone. Enough about that.

So today was the last stage of Valley of the Sun and I really wanted to win the stage. I even packed my Speedplay podium hat for the ocassion. Although I didn't tell anybody I packed it. The race started well, fairly fast in the begining with no real incidents. It was a 70 minute criterium. It was a figure eight course with two long stretches where we only hit 55 Km/h. Not exactly blistering but still fast enough that I knew nothing was going to stay away with out a few hitters in it and a content field no chasing. So I kept an eye on things, made a few moves after primes to test the legs and turn on the afterburners for the sprint. With about 10 minutes to go I start getting in position and then POP. Rear flat just before a turn. I managed to keep it upright and went to the pits to get my wheel changed, making sure that I got an Easton rear wheel to keep the sponsors happy (not that their watching me but I try). I get back into the race with 5 to go (down to laps now) and start looking for my leadout train. Since I don't have any teammates here I decided that Rock Racing would have to do. I love those little guys. So I jumped on the back of their train and just held on to that wheel. A few guys tried to bump me off and it was quite comical at times with some of the 6 + feet tall guys. Something about the big guys picking on us little guys that I just love. Anyways not too much trouble keeping the wheel and I come out of the last turn in 5th while the Rock boys kept peeling off. I started my sprint but didn't quite have enough power to pass their lead sprinter and the guy in front of him so I finished 3rd. Not bad. I was happy with it. With the 10 second bonus I moved to 10th on GC 56 seconds down from the winner. 13th in the TT, 5th in the RR and 3rd in the Crit. Things are going the right way.

Special congrats to Jon Chodrof a Yale graduate class of 07 who just finished 4th in Valley of the Sun racing for New York City based Empire Cycling Team. Jon has only been racing for a year and a half and is a former world class rower (Yale National Champions) who produced an impressive 4th place in the TT and hung tough for 4th in the final GC. Although his position on his TT bike looks more like a clown at the circus than a bike racer, I know that when Mike Sherry gets his hands on him he'll knock a minute off of his time. Check out his blog in his attempt to make it to the pro's. OK gotta board again. Thanks for your support and keep the comments coming.