Monday, April 30, 2007

Jones 3rd at Tour of Virginia

Chris Jones 3rd overall- left

Wow! What a week. We went to the Tour of Virginia to help out VMG racing (US National Team). We also hooked up the team with Chris Jones as a guest rider. The idea was to help teach the younger national team riders how to ride for a GC guy-Chris Jones. We were not sure how the race would go as we did not have the race bible in advance so we did not have a feel for the course profile. Let me tell you, the race was REALLY REALLY hard. Both Chann McRae and Frankie Andreau felt the course was harder than any American Stage race including the Tours of California and Georgia. Basically, the course is epic.

We found this out on stage 3 when the final Cat 1, 7 mile climb destroyed the riders. I was driving the van in the caravan and literally had 4 riders at a time holding onto the van 3/4 of the way up the climb due to the steepness. The climb was the hardest I had ever seen. The Sierra Nevada driver one car ahead of us kept saying "wow" every time time we switched back up the mountain and saw that the climb just kept going at such a steep grade. Basically, every car in our back group (5 cars) had 2 to 4 guys holding most of the way up. There were also fit pros stopped on the side of the road just standing there trying to recover. It was EPIC. Anyway, Chris Jones took 3rd on the stage and kept rolling to an impressive 3rd overall.

I could write a book about how hard some of the stages were but my writing skills suck so I will end it here.