Going into today's stage, we knew we had to be aggressive because Team Type 1 didn't put anyone in the top 50 yesterday. We
knew we had to be in the break for the 85-mile (138 km) circuit race. Our Sport Director, Ed Beamon, talked about waiting
for the second half of the race before we did that because then guys would be tired.
We kept our eyes on Toyota-United early on because we thought they would be ones to initiate a break. With no idea what
the course was going to be like, it was also our hope to make the race as hard possible. Unfortunately, it didn't work out.
On the first of five laps, we lost Ben Brooks (who was second in a stage at this race last year) and Phil Southerland,
one of two riders at this race with Type 1 diabetes. They both succumbed to nagging injuries on the first lap and Ed told
us the bad news over the radio.
Also feeling off was Valeriy Kobzarenko, whose wife just had a baby. He flew straight from the Tour of Taiwan last month
home to see his wife and new daughter, then only returned to the U.S. on Thursday. So he's a little jet-lagged.
That left Shawn Milne, Ian MacGregor, Moises Aldape and me to cover moves. Unfortunately, we just missed the one that
rolled away with Chris Baldwin of Toyota-United and Santiago Botero of Rock Racing. With a feeling that one was going to stick,
we still tried to bridge across but just couldn't get there.
Once the break rolled, everyone just sat up. It was kind of on Health Net to chase because they had the overall lead.
So we sat back and worked on our tans until there was one lap to go. At that point, Health Net was coming apart at the seams
and other teams were going to the front.
So the last time up the climb, Team Type 1 threw everything at it and kept it rolling hard up the climb. A fairly small
group of us - maybe 20 guys - got away. But on the backside of the climb there was a group chasing and the commissaires put
the cars in between the two groups, so the guys who got dropped were able to get back on. That meant our little group of 20
ballooned to about 60.
At that point, we put Shawn in place and he just did the field sprint to test his legs. The race didn’t work
out the way we wanted, but we were active besides missing the break.
Saturday's race is a 90-minute criterium that's pretty technical. It's going to get strung out so it's pretty important
stage. We'll need to stay as near to the front as possible. A lot of guys will be doing that as well so I don't want to be
caught behind those guys.
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Riders Diary Chris Jones Redlands 2008
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