Greg and I made the annual trip down to Phoenix, Az for this early season stage race. The race attracts most halfway decent time trialists this side of the rocky mountains in search of upgrade points, making the category 2 race very competitive. The race is essentially decided after the time trial stage because the road stages are non selective making it almost impossible to gain back time. Basically upgrade points available for riding the TT bike in a straight line.
This year the time trial was fast! I finished tied for 15th with a time of 31:16, that was 54 seconds behind the winner. In the past that time would've been good enough for a top 10. I improved by almost a 1 minute from last season, I can't ask for much more than that. Greg also put in a solid time and it helped that he made his start time this year.
The road race was a 90 mile criterium. Nobody wanted anything to get away, the racing was negative and resulted in a bunch sprint. Greg did a great job of keeping me out of the wind and he was great wheel to follow when the argy bargy of the sprint was going down. He kept me safe knowing that I don't like being anywhere near the sprint
The criterium was fast and the course was wide open. Greg raced aggressively at the front, covering attacks and getting into breakaways. He was in one move that lasted for three laps which looked promising but it came back because it was a cat 2 race. Nothing was getting away! Greg finished 20th in the sprint and I finished tied for 15th on GC.
It felt good racing in the warm weather and I'm glad that Greg remembered the sun screen.