My day today was about fifty eight times better than yesterday, as registered on the iamtedking Arbitrary Scale of Excellence. At the start line I talked with a half dozen other people and they all were lamenting how hard yesterday was. My thoughts exactly, but in the previous 12 hours since the finish of the stage yesterday I hadn’t really delved into detailed conversation with anyone about the stage and therefore figured that it was just another day at the office for the entire peloton; whereas it was only my day yesterday that was sucky because I had crashed. Allora, turns out that it was really frigging hard start to finish for everyone and this morning amid said conversations, this provided me breath a half sign of relief. In the optimistic spirit that “Today is a bright new day!” we arrived at the start, which was warm and it wasn’t yet raining, the sun was fighting hard to win a heated battle with the thick alpine clouds, and soon before the start wouldn’t you guess it, it was spitting rain. BUT only for about 60 seconds and thank the good Lord, the sun won and it turned out to be a nice day. After racing the TdSuisse a few times now, GP Lugano, the Tour of Romandie twice, and having had a camp or two in St. Moritz I was beginning to wonder if it ever was sunny it Switzerland. On June 11, 2013 I can attest that yes, it was sunny for a while.
Alas, time for a race report since these are going so well. The start gun fires, we roll a neutral parade over a frigging mountain, then down the other size, and then hit kilometer 0 marker at which point the real race begins, and three guys attack and the peloton is more than content to let them roll away because we’re all taxed from yesterday.
On paper it’s a sprint stage today with two cat 2 climbs and one little bugger of a cat 4 about 15 km from the finish. Furthermore Peter is a beast and just won yesterday so the ball is in our court of we handsome folks at Cannondale Pro Cycling. I chatted up BMC since they have the leader’s jersey and they weren’t going to chase since the three dudes in the break were way down on GC so the jersey wasn’t in threat of being lost. Under normal circumstances, the peloton would likely have let those escapees roll away and quickly get 15 minutes, but the man, the living myth, the legend, Jens Voigt was up the road so that “break of three” was had the horsepower of seven guys. Or so. So we took the reigns immediately.
Longo Borghini and I were put on pull duty so that’s basically what I did for the subsequent four hours. Towards the end, we were rotating really hard with half of a very fresh Omega team, plus a few other dudes who joined the fray, late. Meanwhile, I was now four hours (as in, “the vast majority of my typical work day”) deep into my job and therefore those last pulls at 500 watts hurt like the dickens.
And then it was a fast run into the finish and I was about done with nine kilometers to go because the peloton was going nuts to catch the Voigt character who of course by then had intrepidly struck out solo.
And there was a gnarly left hand turn at 180 meters to the finish and in essence the race came down to who was in good position there. I was in about 120th position then (I have no idea actually, I made that up) and that’s where I finished up (again, I have no idea). By now you’re probably aware that Peter did not win.
And now we’re at a Holiday Inn Express. I get a kick out of the Americanization of hotels in bucolic Switzerland — or correction, the Europeanization of American hotels while here in bucolic Switzerland. We are literally at a Holiday Inn Express directly off the highway next to a rest stop and gas station. With cars buzzing by on the autostrada at 130kph or whatever, it’s a funny contrast to the other hotels have been these past few days. In essence, they’ve been little mom and pop BnBs, but perhaps in honor of my American patriotism, here we are. Thankfully there’s still an excellent view of the mountains, just in case you forgot where you were and thought you were really in a dumpy highway rest-stop.
And if the internet works well enough I will upload a photo as proof, but not that’s not going to happen since the internet is crummy.