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Phil Gaimon Journal: Ready … set … coast!

The 2013 The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah began Tuesday (that’s the Larry Miller, owner of the Utah Jazz, not the Larry Miller, the overprotective father from “Ten Things I Hate About You” — not that I’ve ever seen that chick movie. No sir).

All the teams are staying in the dorm suites at Southern Utah University (home of the Thunderbirds), which gives me flashbacks to my freshman year in college — except there’s less pizza delivery and I’ve had no luck organizing a toga party. It’s fun to get away from the typical hotel setup at these races, and we all get to hang out in the common area and watch movies together and walk around naked, that sort of thing.

The race started with a hard kicker for two kilometers. My Bissell teammate and all-around nice guy Michael Torckler attacked with Chris Jones from UnitedHealthcare (you’d expect no less from a guy with “torque” in his name). Jones was happy with the sprint points and Mike earned himself the KOM jersey for Wednesday. Do you hear that sound? That’s someone buying a Bissell vacuum! Oh! There’s another one!

After that early kicker, we coasted for a long time, went up a gradual climb for 45 minutes or so, and then coasted for another hour. I’m not complaining about all the coasting. There’ll be plenty of pedaling this week. We all tried to remember how to push down on the pedals when we got to downtown Cedar City, where we completed three finishing circuits and were cheered on by a nice crowd. We caught the early break on the first circuit and I don’t know who won the stage. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me. Like 75-80 percent sure. I finished safely in the group, as they say.

Number of nature break stops: 2
Number of rolling nature breaks: 2
Hydration: Good, apparently

Highlights of the race so far:

– Jens Voigt trying to get us to dare him to big-ring the first steep climb.
– The “Chicks me” license plate on Lachlan Morton’s saddle.
– Chatting with some of my future teammates and getting sized up for new bikes from Garmin-Sharp.
– The smile on Torckler’s face when he came back to the room with those polka dots. Mike is real quiet — sometimes it’s fun to yell at him to SHUT UP, even though he hasn’t said a word. I’ll lay off him today, though.

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