What's Cool In Road Cycling

Inside Georgia: Absolutely Flat Stick

Stage 1: Augusta to Macon – The hype that we are becoming accustomed to continued for Stage one of the Tour de Georgia. The music that was playing had me so pumped up I felt like going out of the blocks as if I was doing the kilo time trial.

Not to mention the three sprints on the opening circuits before we left Augusta, worth US$500, $750 & $1000. Because of this, we decided we would give the sprints a go.

The first lap was like a greyhound race, absolutely flat stick, chasing the imaginary hare.

It was bound to happen and sure enough, coming down the finishing straight, the guys desperate to make a dollar touched wheels and down they went. Luckily for me (considering the two crashes I’ve already had this year) I had backed off a bit sensing the carnage and rolled through the bodies lying on the road. As far as I know no-one was seriously injured, just a few butt cheeks hanging out of torn shorts.

Willo (Trent Wilson) and another rider managed to break clear on laps two and three, taking the third sprint worth US$1000.

The stage was pretty straight forward after that rolling hills but nothing too nasty. Fast roads made it fairly easy going, with Saturn doing most of the controlling at the head of the bunch.

I tried to force a break just before entering the finishing circuits. Henk Vogels, Floyd Landis, Chris Horner and a couple others came with me. It was a bit crazy as we would have had to do warp speed around the finishing circuits to hold the peloton off. So instead we got caught right at the base of the hill on the circuits and the lactate monster grabbed hold of my legs. There was no escaping him – I blew up big time, legs just refusing to push on. I didn’t have a problem with riding harder, it was my legs that had had enough.

Al Iacuone attacked twice up the same hill sensing a bunch sprint, but it was simply too fast. He finished 18th in the stage and Scott held his own moving into 11th on GC.

I lost 2 minutes in the end – a little disappointed, but I’m glad I had a go. You never know when it will pay off.

Henk Vogels snatched the stage, coming from nowhere according to the guys. I wasn’t sure what they meant, did he slip out of a side street with 200 to go….?

No seriously Henk has great form at the moment. The win has also moved him into the lead by just 1 second, so it’s going to be an interesting day tomorrow.

Dave Macca

Rider Diaries provided courtesy of Flanders-iteamNova. Check out the official website for FLANDERS-ITEAMNOVA.COM more info on the team.

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