By Dave Zabriskie, U.S. Postal Service cycling team
Okay, the Angliru was pretty hard.
The race started from the gun again and it never let up. Johan came on the radio and said guys just for your information at the top of Angliru it is sunny and dry. Golly that was really making me look forward to it.
I was already using my triple chain ring on the first Cat.1 climb of the day. On the downhill I was chasing back on with a group, I don’t think it’s very smart to do try and chase on these downhills. The guy I was following was going really fast and I could see a hard right turn in front of us but he wasn’t slowing down the road was wet by this point. I looked ahead and there was a nice hill of grass that I decided to go up.
Tony Cruz was in that group behind me, too, and he said that guy did almost crash. But I just lost the concentration for one-second, I looked up the hill instead of the turn and that’s where I went. But I caught them anyways at a little bit of a safer speed.
I made it to about kilometer 150 with the main group and then I had to go a slower speed. I felt bad that I couldn’t help Roberto out a little more, but on a day like that I think he is pretty good no matter what and he was getting help from the rest of the team.
I hit the bottom of the Angliru and let the gruppeto go in front of me, I just wanted to be alone and concentrate on getting up the mountain. It began to rain extremely hard; some parts of the road were like a river.
Frankie told that I me had plenty of time to make it within the time cut, so I kept going my own pace. There were a lot of people walking down by the time I was going up. A lot of them got in the way and I was looking for all this security and fencing they said they were going to have. It was scary when I got in front of a car and it would be spinning its tires in back of me.
I didn’t really want to get run over. Some people tried to push me but I had to say “no thanks.” It was hard enough to balance on that steep of a grade and a slick road, without a bunch of drunk Spanish people knocking me around.
I’m sure only a few were drunk but they were definitely all crazy and kept yelling at me “ROBERTO IS LEADER.” I finally finished, and was so delirious that when Johan grabbed me after the line I didn’t recognize him and I yelled at him.
Now Roberto is the leader, and we get to start defending tomorrow.