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Cruz-ing at the Vuelta:
Two days, a study in contrast

My rest day started at 9:30 on Monday morning with a knock on the door from one of our staff. I think I could have easily slept another 10 hours. That probably wouldn't have been too wise. Breakfast was more on the light side, since in the past I've had a tendency to eat too much between races and then paid the price. Juice, bread, cereal, and fruit were plenty for the training we had planned. Roberto Herras knew exactly where to ride in the busy streets of Barcelona to get us out of town quickly and into the surrounding hills. Johan thought between two and two-and-a-half hours was plenty

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By Antonio Cruz, U.S. Postal Professional Cycling Team

My rest day started at 9:30 on Monday morning with a knock on the door from one of our staff. I think I could have easily slept another 10 hours. That probably wouldn’t have been too wise.

Breakfast was more on the light side, since in the past I’ve had a tendency to eat too much between races and then paid the price. Juice, bread, cereal, and fruit were plenty for the training we had planned.

Roberto Herras knew exactly where to ride in the busy streets of Barcelona to get us out of town quickly and into the surrounding hills. Johan thought between two and two-and-a-half hours was plenty with some medium efforts to keep the legs open for the following day.

Roberto had his own ride planned out after the rest of us turned off to head back to the hotel. He continued on to do a third climb up to a monastery for a total ride time of 4:30 hours.

Apparently he had a bad experience at the Giro a few years ago where he ate too much and rode for just an hour on the rest day. The following day was a hilly stage and he had one of his worst rides because his legs were blocked.

I finished the day with three hours of saddle time and a little over half of what I normally eat, but I did have all my desert. Need that sugar! Stage 10

After our great morning entertainment with our boy Matt White dancing a little jungle boogey at the front of the bus it was time for sign in. After the neutral start, the race opened up immediately!

The two guys for the early breaks were Victor and Chan. It was attack after attack with Victor rolling in and out of a few. The break that would last for the day went shortly after with Victor trying hard to bridge up to them.

He said that he was able to come within about 5 seconds of them and that was it. Other riders tried to make it across but had no luck.

We constantly rolled up and down through a series of small canyons and at one point the group split in half through a flat windy section. I can tell you that I was pinned hoping it wouldn’t split ahead of me.

Finally, things mellowed out and Team ONCE stopped for a pee break. For the rest of the stage Benoit and I helped Levi stay at the front over the next couple of climbs, especially the long 18-kilometer climb of the day.

Everything went according to plan, including the good legs Levi had. Go Team! Our trio of Roberto, Chechu, and Levi made it with the main GC riders keeping their standings the same.

I rode the last 50 kilometers in the gruppetto from hell that would break apart every few kilometers because someone decided to turn the screws at the front.

The legs are improving and that’s a good sign since tomorrow has a couple bumps on the race profile.
Weight:64 kilos
Meal: bread, coffee, cereal, coffee, more cereal and coffee