It was very cold at the start of stage 2, in Beaumont, California. I was shivering like a madman before the start. I remembered hearing that it was snowing at home in Québec Canada this morning and keeping that in mind I started to find the weather a little balmy. Nice trick, "eh"? (See Jonathan Devich's photo that shows how cold it was HERE)
Our goal wasn't to launch attacks, or aim to be a part of any breaks. We just wanted to have enough control over what was going on in the big scheme of things, and keep Alison safe. We followed moves, and let some go instead of burning matches chasing every little thing that went. We rotated through on the front of the pack to keep any riders who went up the road in check. It was taking a lot of energy to do it, but that was part of the strategy, and that's what we train for.
Alison went for the sprint points (and the time bonuses that came with them), and scored on each of the 3 laps of the course. She's tied with Brianna Walle from Optum now for the sprinter's classification, but Alison is the official leader since she's higher up in GC.
On the last lap a break went and we let it go, rolling at the front to keep it in check. None of the riders in it were threating to Alison's lead. We brought the break back slowly, calmly, and surely. Then things split up the final uphill section. I ended up in that front group with Alison Powers and Robin Farina. Before the second last corner, Robin was leading hard it on the front. In the long stretch leading up to the ultimate corner into the uphill finishing section Robin attacked, then I took the front and drilled it into the last corner. Just as I got there, Powers came by me, and sling-shotted off of me. She sprinted to the finish, and WON. Bingo. I kept pedaling to the finish line
|Stage 2 podium at Redlands. Alison Power of NOW and Novartis for MS wins again! Photo credit: Redlands Classic Twitter.|
The second place finisher in today's stage protested the sprint to the commissaires, but did not win. I think she believed Alison cut her off. Alison was the first out of the corner, chose her line, and kept it. A fair and square win for NOW and Novartis for MS.
This was the last race I'll ever do when I'm 25 and I'm satisfied how this year of my life has went out ;). Next goal, bring in 26 with a bang as well. Tomorrow is the penultimate stage: a criterium in downtown Redlands
|Robin getting some quality recovery in after today's tough day on the Specialized S-Works Amira!|