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Tour of the Gila, behind the line stories from stage 2

May 3, 2012

Andres Diaz, Team Exergy

Andres Diaz, Team Exergy, after talking about when he last saw his family in Colombia, says, “I go home again in one month and 15 days.”

When prompted with “Wow, that sounds like you are counting down the days. Is it to get back to your mom’s cooking?” Diaz says, “No, my girlfriend.”

Erik Slack, riding on Jetfuel Cycling Team

Erik Slack, Jetfuel Cycling Team, talks about staying with local families (host housing) at races like Tour of the Gila: “98% of the time it’s great. The only thing is you tend to gain weight. It’s the mothers. They want to feed you.”

Chad Beyer, Competitive Cyclist

Chad Beyer, Competitive Cyclist, cuts his own hair – it’s not that he doesn’t trust barbers to touch that fine coiffure. He says the reason is: “I don’t think any barber would want to be caught with me walking out the door like this.”

Vegard Laengen and Georg Preidler, Team Type 1-Sanofi before stage 2 Gila start

Lots of riders, including Norwegian Vegard Laengen and Austrian Georg Preidler, Team Type 1-Sanofi, are suffering from the altitude in Silver City, New Mexico where the elevation reaches about 6,000 ft. They arrived on Sunday from Europe, three days before the race began. On the morning of stage 2, Preidler looks down at the computer on his handlebars and says, “It’s 5 o’clock at home.”

Julien El Fares, Team Type 1-Sanofi

Julien El Fares, Team Type 1-Sanofi. His mom is French, and his dad, Algerian. He hasn’t made it to Algeria yet, but he’d like to see his dad’s home country some day.

Sam Johnson, Team Exergy

Sam Johnson, Team Exergy, loves the Tour of the Gila — it’s special to him because he grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This year he rides it for the 6th time. He says, “It’s an epic race. No other NRC race is so demanding. Until now we’ve had stage races with five minute climbs and uphill time trials determining the GC. This is a real deal stage race with a major time trial.”

Tomorrow the riders take on that 16 mile time trial. They will climb 1,188 ft on the out-and-back course which starts as a four lane road and narrows to two lanes. Everyone expects windy conditions.

From → Road Racing

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