What did we do today?

The Inner Loop Road race, a punchy, technical nightmare that’s supposed to be a sprint stage but is really a slaughter.

What was it like?

Though I’ve never had one, probably similar to a colonoscopy.

You might ask, why a colonoscopy?

Because when you pucker that hard screaming into an 80-man pile-up, chances are you’ll need a colonoscopy if you ever want to take another dump.

How did I do?

I finished with the lead group, which is a miracle because as my teammate Henry politely pointed out to his mother on the phone after the race, I died a thousand deaths on the rollers coming back to the finish in the last 10 miles.

Quotes of the day

“I like doing things I’m not good at.” ~Sam’s random breakfast musings. Oddly inspiring.

“I respect James because he gets scared but then uses it as fuel to push past it.” ~ More Sam musings.

“If I can see the top I’m good.” James in reference to whether he can make it over the climb or not. Kinda brilliant.

“I got flamed as a kid for rolling my eyes. I don’t really do authority.” ~James, which explains why he’s good at crits and bikes in general.

“I just parked the bus in the meat pillows’ ~Taj, explaining how he didn’t get completely wrecked in the crash.

“It’s Zonk city in here.” ~James, after 25 minutes passed at the Airbnb post-race without anyone saying anything.

“Are you an old school or new school rider?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you drink beers after the race or not?”
“Basically only beer.”
“My man.”
~ Me talking to a guy on a Dutch team post-race.

“Diesel Daddy! You were boolin’ at the front Matti!” James Hilyer, after getting 6th in the sprint.

“Yo Matti, we got a Norwegian guy on our time. Do your thing.”
“Snakker du norsk?”
“Ehhh…en slags kebobnorsk.”
~Carson, my old roommate, the director of Above and Beyond cycling team, introduced me to a Norwegian rider on their team. I was BUZZING after talking some Norwegian for a couple of minutes.

What I hated about today

I mean, the crash.

Worse, my teammate Ethan, who was best placed on overall classification and barely breathing on the climbs thus far, broke his wrist in the crash.

Also, Sam lost most of the skin on his elbow and Taj got a burn on his forearm when someone’s brakes yeeted into his arm

Mediocre power reveal/inner race commentary

The race was neutralized after the crash for twenty minutes which was the right move for the officials but the worst thing for my nerves as the adrenaline wore off and I stood on the top of Sapillo asking myself why the hell I bike race again and wouldn’t it be nice if I was having a picnic with my family instead of trying to bool down descents at 45 mph with 100 other dudes.

What I loved about today?

Freaking James got a top 10 on the stage and Henry dropped a top 20 on the stage. Goddamn!

No one died.

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