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Zabriskie’s Point: Not nearly as easy as it looked

Stage 14: 5km ride to start + 9km of neutral + 190km of racing = 204km. And it actuallyt feels like a million. On the profile today it looked fairly flat, but it was far from flat, it was more like a rollercoaster. I'm glad we are up north a little bit and out of some of the heat, but I'm sure I'll be eating my words tomorrow when it's freezing rain going up the famous Angliru. Today started out again balls to the wall from the first kilometer. It's important to be at the front in the neutral because of that. Guys will start coming off the back from the beginning, but after a while,

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By Dave Zabriskie, U.S. Postal Service cycling team

Stage 14: 5km ride to start + 9km of neutral + 190km of racing = 204km. And it actuallyt feels like a million. On the profile today it looked fairly flat, but it was far from flat, it was more like a rollercoaster.

I’m glad we are up north a little bit and out of some of the heat, but I’m sure I’ll be eating my words tomorrow when it’s freezing rain going up the famous Angliru. Today started out again balls to the wall from the first kilometer.

It’s important to be at the front in the neutral because of that. Guys will start coming off the back from the beginning, but after a while, I’ve noted just after the 50 km mark they start to wear out and slow down just for a little while, then it gets more controlled and the speed goes up again.

After one of the short climbs, Tony said lets move up a little bit, so we started going up the side. It was a fast downhill and in front of the group I could see a big piece of plastic fall off one of the motorcycles. It happened very fast but I knew it was going to happen.

This plastic I don’t exactly know what it was, caused chaos, guys started to fall down to my left and I steered through some of the plastic and a few already fallen riders. I looked behind me and it looked like more than half the field just piled up.

It was really bad. It happened fast but if I saw it coming from the middle of the pack, I can’t help but think that the riders that were in the front could also see that something had fallen in the road. It really wouldn’t have been so difficult to slow down just for a second and point it out, but oh well. The last 30km was an all out effort to stay in the front group, the race was already over, but for some unknown reason Fassa Bartolo would not stop chasing, then to top it all off they guy who won the sprint for second or third – I’m not sure – raised his arms. Hello???

Okay, goodnight. If tomorrow is as hard as they say it is, it might take a few naps before I get back to the computer.

-Dave Z.