by Colin Gibson
KR sent a small men’s delegation to the Tour of Walla Walla this year. This is their (our [my]) story.
Jake and I got to stay in a child’s bedroom with two beds like this:
Racing festivities were scheduled to begin on Friday with a 62-mile road race for the men and a bag full of anti-race-development incentives for the women. That went well until the stage was canceled due to lack of course marshals. All those snacks for nothing. Next!
The TT was a TT. I beat Jake’s triathlon bike, which is the only thing that matters. After team nap time, team coffee time, team pillow talk, team fight club, team shower time, team nail-polish application, and team snacks, we rolled out to the crit. We parked where we always parked and listened to some kind of country music.
Jake and I wore fluo orange socks for the crit. Flying squirrel tactics defined the first 20minutes of racing. I was astonished at the tremendous sprinting ability that some racers demonstrated out of turn 1 early in the race. Also out of turn 2, 3, 4, 5, and every other point in the race (except for the sprint at like, the end of the race). After coasting with Jake and eating more snacks, I countered a Jacob Rathe/Benny Swedburg/HB move and got away with Dylan Davies of Russ Hays and Darren Goff of Live Well. The three of us were all pretty high on the BMI chart, so we motored and were holding at 15-20s, splitting primes and trying to get some time. Eventually shit heated up behind and we were caught with 1.5 to go. Jake got knocked out of good position due to a last lap crash, but received many congratulations for his strong riding in the breakaway, that popular rascal!
The road race was the usual 90 miles of tailwind climbing. Jake was hurting from the burger I force fed him the night before, so he was in conservation mode. I was feeling good and wanted to find a way to try and win like a #professional instead of defending my 12th place GC, which would have been a #bitchmove. Ian Crane was leading GC, but his main man Carson Miller was momentarily sleepy from pulling like a champ with 35mi to go, so I attacked with Jordan Cheyne (2nd GC) on the more selective tailwind climb, and we had a gap until every other team realized that I might leapfrog them into 9th and started chasing.
Moment of seriousness: the willingness of people to do the race leader’s work for him never ceases to amaze me. Congrats to everyone who chased us and then missed the actual selection on the last lap: good job. Actual quote from the race:
“So where are you in GC?”
“Oh, like Xth place.” (not 1st)
“So are you going to try and attack?”
“Nah, I’ll probably defend.”
Heads up: no one is trying to take your top-10 GC spot, which besides is a result that zero people care about. Going into a race with the mentality that you’re not going to challenge the race leader, but that you will challenge other racers who are trying to attack the race leader in order to save the small scraps that you’ve managed to secure is a pretty lame way to spend a weekend and a couple hundred dollars if you ask me. Plus it makes Ian Crane’s life easier, which no one should ever support.
The real selection came the last time up the same hill, and Jake and I were both too sleepy to go with it. 8 guys including Crane bridged to the small break and went to the line with ~0:45 on our group, which means we dropped way down in team GC, individual GC, and ego size :(((((
Jake gave me San Pellegrino Orange Juice after, which made everything better. Overall, a great weekend for snacks.