You are hereGiro del Cielo '11
Giro del Cielo '11
Stage 1: TT
The first stage was a rolling 4.6 single lane road with a sharp, 1k little ring climb to the finish. I knew from last year the top times would be under 15 minutes and 15:30 should be good for top 10. I rolled out and tried to pace myself well over the rollers before giving it my all on the final climb. A time of 15:39, good for 16th place, one place out of GC points. Carol Lynn finished fouth in the cat 4 women and Tori got 12th.
Stage 2: Crit (Circuit Race)
The Skylands Cycling people called the race a criterium, but with a long and winding front stretch, only one real corner, a sharp pitch and nasty crosswind right before the finish and a length of 1.5 miles, I'll call it a circuit race. Going into the race, I knew I had to get some serious GC points if I was going to be in the hunt for the overall. There were points primes three times during the race, three places deep. The race started pretty fast. BH and some other teams seemed to want to get a break going, but no one was willing to let anything get away. The first point sprint came and I fought for good position coming into it. I followed wheels in the sprint and was able to get 2nd without really sprinting. I did the same thing in the 2nd points sprint a few laps later and got third. So I had some points without really using my sprint up. Now to just hope for the finish. On the last lap I got boxed in tightly and lost a bunch of places going into the sprint. I was at least 20 back from the front before the little climb so I punched it coming out of the last turn. I saw Paul on the climb and thought about waiting for a leadout from him, but decided to keep my momentum going. I passed about 8 guys and caught a little group on the crosswind section, punched it in the gutter and passed a few more. I caught the lead group right as Dan Lim launched his sprint and filled into 3rd place. The guy in front of my jumped (and chopped Dan's line badly) and I went with him. I was able to come around easily in the last 50 meters for the win! The points from the circuit race added up well and put me in 2nd overall on GC.
Tori and Carol Lynn both finished well, getting 7th and 3rd respectively. Some good representation for East End.
Stage 3: Road Race
Sunday morning came and it was time for the road race. The course was a mildly rolling 5.5 mile loop that we would do 9 times, with a gradual 500 meter big-ring climb to the finish. The course had some long open stretches that could be vicious in the wind but there was no breeze. Carol Lynn and Tori did well in their race, getting 3rd and 10th, respectively. My plan was to watch BH-Garneau, as they are a strong team and had a man in 4th place on GC. I figured any break without them wasn't going anywhere and if they let one of their lesser placed riders get away it wouldn't be with anyone who was a GC threat. Our race rolled out gently without anyone really driving the pace the first lap. At the end of lap 1 they rang the bell for a points prime, meaning we would sprint for GC points at the end of lap 2. I maintained position that lap and went into the sprint hoping good position and smart riding would get me a couple points. It wouldn't. I was holding 5th halfway up the finishing climb when a group of guys flew past me and went screaming up the road. Even if I had given it an all out sprint, I'm not sure if I could have won the points, which made me nervous for the finish. Partway through lap 2 a small group rolled off the front. It didn't look threatening, but they were able to maintain a 30 second gap for a few laps. Seeing a break off the front always makes me nervous, but I was only feeling OK and I definitely wouldn't have done well working in a breakaway. Once the break was caught, everything slowed down a bit. People would attack, but it was never all out and it seemed like everyone was content to sprint for the win. The last lap had the usual fighting for position, but nobody got to crazy. I didn't lose any places over the rollers and sat top 10 coming into the final corner, 1K from the finish. Donny Green (1st overall) was nice enough to lead out out to the base of the climb. He was swarmed up the first half and I sat about 6th wheel. Another rider surged up my right during a flatter part of the climb and I followed him. As he slowed I jumped for real, about 200 meters out. It was a little earlier than I wanted to go but when I looked there was only one man on my wheel. I put my head down for the drag race to the line, gave it everything I had and threw my bike just in case. Turned out I had more than enough room for the win! The win gave me enough GC points to edge ahead of Donny for the overall win.