Wednesday, June 21, 2006

NVGP: Mankato Stage, Part 4

In our first three episodes, you learned that on Saturday, June 17 Tuffy was invited by an employee of the French bike maker Time to ride in the McGuire Elite Womens Team car for the Mankato stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Needless to say, he accepted.

After 15 miles, the McGuire team was left with three riders (Martina, Melodie, and Taitt) after Courtenay bagged it.

Around the 25 mile mark, those of us in the team car kept getting muffled radio messages from the riders (Martina? Melodie?) that they wanted some water. The only problem was that the feeding from cars opened at 30 miles, which we were politely reminded of by Com 1 (the tour director's radio handle).

Shortly after feeding opened at mile 30, the ladies stopped for a "natural break". You figure out what that means. What it meant for us in the car was that we came to a dead stop on a county road in the middle of nowhere for a couple of minutes.

While all of this was going down, Martina came to the team car to get water for her, Melodie, and Taitt. A very heady move. However, there was an abrupt acceleration immediately after the natural break and Martina had to work pretty hard to catch back on. She even had to ditch two water bottles with the Aussies in the Cheerwine support convertible.

[photo caption] Assistant Volunteer Directeur Sportif Ped updates the riders on the terrain to come. Alternate caption: Assistant Volunteer Directeur Sportif Ped berates Com 1 while impersonating Victory Brewing personnel.

"Heakjalf kdfjaoe dkjfalei" came the radio call from our rider, followed by "McGuire team for feeding" from Com 1.

We raced up to the front to find Martina had dropped back for more water. This was around mile 45. Martina loaded up with six water bottles (two for each rider left), and tried to get back up to speed.

Volunteer Directeur Sportif Smithers tried to "slingshot" Martina. It didn't work. Martina got as far as three or four support cars up in the caravan, then slowly came back to us.

"Let us take some of the water!" Assistant Volunteer Directeur Sportif Ped shouted out the window to Martina.

"No. I'll be ok," replied Martina.

Then, she slowly fell backwards through the caravan and off of the back of the race.

[photo caption] The peloton slowly disappears into the distance, as seen by Martina.

About five minutes later, I looked out the back of the team car to see Martina already about a mile behind the peloton.

At least she would have enough water.

Look for Part 5 of our story tomorrow...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two riders down and no water! Sweet jeebus!

You're killin me Smalls.


Wed Jun 21, 02:26:00 PM 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

your blog isn't worth anything.

Wed Jun 21, 03:41:00 PM 2006

Blogger Smithers said...

Tuffy needs to update his site value. I just ran it and came up with $5080.86. Mine is at almost $21K. Once it hits $50K I am selling and it will be "SO LONG SUCKERS!"

Wed Jun 21, 07:16:00 PM 2006

Blogger Saddam said...

This blog is worth my weight in gold. Profit off this, Tuffy. Profit off this like I profitted off Hot Shots! Part Deux.

Wed Jun 21, 08:31:00 PM 2006


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