Monday, April 18, 2011

Tour Tour of Walla Walla

Walla squared is one of the bigger races in Washington. We went there and raced the bicycles. Racing happened, winning happened, losing happened, and snickers were eaten. Here is the weekends top 5-

5) Dogs 
Dans wife Holly and their Great Dane named Moose
Our Hosts monster dog Murphy
4) Hosts
What should I get you guys at the store? Ok I'll get twice that much
3) Wind
Walla Walla is very exposed to wind. When it decides to get windy, it gets very windy-

Not this type of wind:

But this kind:

Holy hell Bill Paxton in Twister was this weekend windy. Saturdays crit was a vortex of wind that made tactics mentally confusing, and Sundays road race was equivalent to 
Approximately 10 miles into the 91 mile race things got ballistic on a cross-tailwind climb. After wrestling the bike on the preceding descent to stay upright, there were ~14 of us left in the front group. I had a moment with many terryifying thoughts of having to do 80 more miles in the wind, all out, with only 13 other guys to shelter from the wind, but luckily the race came back together somewhat. Here is a cool video I found from the race.
2.5) Crit 
David, Steve and I made the other bike racers look silly in the first 1/2 lap of the crit. We clipped in and pedaled hard, and apparently the three of us were all quite giddy with the fact that we were far ahead of everybody so soon into the race.
photo from
2) Colin vs Ian showdown
The real race happened around 10th in the GC. Who cares about the top 9 spots, the most intriguing battle happened for the 10th and 11th spots. Colin and I finished in the same group in the first road race, then Colin smashed me in the time trial by a whopping 2.6 seconds.

13- 41 GIBSON, Colin Lake WA Velo 20:41.55 @ 52.13
14- 23 CRANE, Ian Hagens Berman 20:44.15 @ 54.73

Then came the crit. I knew I had to win a time bonus to pass Colin in the GC. 3 seconds were available to win per prime. I had sweaty palms. I talked some trash before the race. I schemed. I sprinted. I won the first time bonus prime. Booyah!

10- 23 CRANE, Ian USA Hagens Berman 3:50:31 @ 02:02
                                       11-  41 GIBSON, Colin USA Lake WA Velo     "          " 

Tied on GC going into the final stage! I ended up beating Colin the last day and getting some time, but only because I was angry at him for lying to me before the time trial. He flatted his wheel during warmup, and I graciously gave him one of mine that I wasn't using. With the premise being that if he was about to beat me, he sat up. Seems like he didn't....

The real gains came from Colins aero position.
1) Sunday
Kennett says it the best. He was off the front all race, mostly alone. Then BOOM

"Shit was going down back in the field at this point, with Phil, Lang, Spencer, Chris, Ian, and Dan all going ape shit and attacking like spider monkeys with terribly itchy ticks.  They were going nuts.  I’m glad I was up the road riding easy threshold in the wind by myself, because the watts I would have had to do holding onto wheels and following the HB surges would have been much more painful. As I climbed the longer tailwind climb and the wheel and lead cars came around me (signifying my gap was under a minute) I began looking back in fear at the approaching field.  They were gaining time on me at an alarming rate.  Especially two riders in black.  Shit, they were going to catch me before the top of the climb!  I grimaced and sped up.  I looked back again, did a double take and realized the two riders with the large gap to the field were Dan and Chris, the very two riders we were trying to have bridge to me all freaking day.  And they were alone.  And this was the last lap!"

Stomped. I finished up 8th gc. We had 5 guys in the top 12 on GC, a stage win, and the team GC. 

Veni Vidi Vici.

The guys, minus Lang and Chris

1 comment:

  1. Dude that windy riding video is ridiculous. Funny shit. Nice work at Walla Walla and at conference champs this weekend. Winning collegiate nats is your next task. And just in case you dont win, make sure Steve does.