awwww, Man!

Damn! Thought I had that jersey wrapped up.

Prologue, I got to be 30second guy to Todd H. Strategy? Hold off the super fast dude for as long as possible, then try to keep him in sight. That worked on the downhill, then once we started to pedal, Todd put 4 minutes on me over a 27 minute effort. Damn, what have I gotten myself into? Came out of the prologue bunched up in the lower half of the top 10.

Stage one I worked on my surge-n-fade climbing technique. Then got hung out to dry by a lazy peloton, but still turned the screws at the front of the train during the second Stage 1 sprint. Stage 2 found me throwing down another pointless surge to capture zero points for 6th place in the KOM. Followed that up with a classic sketch move, blowing thru a highspeed fireroad turn and ending up way up high on the embankment beyond the ditch during the windup for the Montebello sprint. And backed all that up with major pukage along Whetstone before battling back to only lose spots to Bucky & Joely. Those efforts put me into my first ever Grand Tour Jersey, the maglia blanca for Most Combative, an apparently 100% subjective classification.

So, the third and final stage found me clad in my first Grand Tour Tunic. I wore it with pride and treated it with the honor & respect it deserved. I was also trying to stake my claim on the overall title. Showing il maglia at the sharp end of the stage as much as possible, logging long kilometers off the front of the group, trying to always be there to instigate the festivities when it was time to wind it up. Put in a solid effort with Buschetti on the day's KOM, logging my highest ever KOM placement with the 2nd slot. The Parkway sprint was another painful affair, dangling off the front with Cristoph for the 3mile leadout and running out of gas in the final 50m, getting nicked at the line in the uphill sprint by a surging Mr. Helmick. Captured my first ever sprint points though, 3rd place. Then the downfall, Torrey Ridge for GC time. The jersey, which had an aura about it and had pushed me with a helping hand to earlier glories during the stage, now became a heavy burden to shoulder. I was hungry and instigated a slight jumping of the gun for the World Cup Holeshot into the singletrack. I was shortly put into my place and my time for the cameras came to an end.

I viewed 'Most Combative' as a classification encompassing the entire realm of a Grand Tour. So across Torrey, I finished my Giro by mounting a monumental attack on the DFL jersey. I fell apart, it was a meltdown of nuclear proportions. I couldn't pedal for shite, had one flat tire, got caught behind a smoke screen, gave up a tube to fellow Cupcake Buck and finally got to snap some pics while actually on the trail. I thought I had it wrapped up, I really, really did.

But, due to the totally subjective nature and possibly my lack of post stage lobbying, the jersey was wrenched from my grasp and given to Jimmy the Newcomer. His singular performance on the day's GC section, a stellar 3rd place showing to move into the top 10 overall, was enough for the judges and trumped my hero to zero showing.

Damn, so close. Now I can only hope that this classification is introduced at le Tour, I've had a taste of the glory, and it was sweet.

Beyond all that, thanks to everybody for making the event happen. il Directour, Martino and the Fooftown Mafia. Mr. Hoy for his super-MVP support role. The tifosi for lining the course 4 deep in spots. And of course, all the other bike riding and suffer loving fools that made the event one for the ages. We're lucky to be part of such an interesting community.

will get pics up on the smug sometime soon, peace.

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