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Vaughters’ View: Sometimes you feel like a nut…

What a sense of timing. Here after a week of talking about safety, helmets, course closures and otherwise, I figured what the heck, why not start the Tour of Georgia by making myself look like a complete Fred and taking myself out in a prologue? Yes, it really was a first for me, crashing in a time trial, and hopefully a last too. It was the old 'I don't need to brake for that corner' that was my fatal error on that lovely sunny day. I have a history of taking risks in time trials, especially short ones like prologues> I figure if I lose much speed in the corners, I really don't have a

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By Jonathan Vaughters, Prime Alliance cycling team

Go for broke... just don't let your wife watch. Vaughters in 2000

Go for broke… just don’t let your wife watch. Vaughters in 2000

Photo: AFP (file photo)

What a sense of timing.

Here after a week of talking about safety, helmets, course closures and otherwise, I figured what the heck, why not start the Tour of Georgia by making myself look like a complete Fred and taking myself out in a prologue?

Yes, it really was a first for me, crashing in a time trial, and hopefully a last too. It was the old ‘I don’t need to brake for that corner’ that was my fatal error on that lovely sunny day. I have a history of taking risks in time trials, especially short ones like prologues> I figure if I lose much speed in the corners, I really don’t have a good jump to get back up to speed. The simple solution to this lack of acceleration is to never slow down. Most of the time I make it okay, perhaps only scaring the team director driving in the car behind me a bit.

I recall when my newly pregnant bride rode in the team car behind me in the 2000 prologue of Paris-Nice. She stepped out of the car, white as a ghost, and informed me that she never was watching a time trial again.

I can just imagine giving the youngsters on my development team this bit of sage advice: “Now kids, just hit the corner as fast as you can… that’s it. Now lean the bike until your knee is scraping the pavement, and pray your tires stick. Yep, boys, that’s how the real pros do it!”

Oh, their poor, trusting parents…

Anyhow, I was simply employing my tried-and-true tactic on Tuesday, but this time my brazen attitude landed me on the pavement. My reward for my lack of regard for physics is a left side full of road rash, and a rather uncomfortably swollen nut.

Let me tell you, 136 miles sitting on this baby is not going to be fun. I should be feeling sorry for myself, but the events of the day would have it that I really felt much worse for my teammate Svein. Svein rode a respectable 5:20 in the prologue, which would seem a great time, until team boss, Kirk, told me Svein had missed his start time by about 20 secs. That would have put Svein in the hunt for the win. Kirk said he was flying around the course, hitting 40mph on the straights.

I think a victory in the Tour of Georgia prologue would have put Svein on the map in the cycling world, but instead all he’ll get a valuable lesson in why you need to wear a watch when you warm up. I would have been looking for a rope to hang myself, but Svein simply shrugged and said “Oh well.”

That’s Svein, he’s a character fit for a Steinbeck novel. Nonetheless, I felt much worse for him than I did for myself… even with my swollen nut.

Let’s hope the rest of this race goes a bit better for Svein and the captain, eh?