Stage 5 was a circuit race through Quebec City. Not much to it, except for a steep 1.5k up to the finish, which was a good chance for all the GC guys to go really hard and chase each other down for no time gain. The early break stayed away that day, and Jake sprinted for fifth.
The final stage was a tough circuit race, which twisted, turned, and climbed right past the hotel. I think it’s cruel to make us pass 50 feet from our beds every lap, but I held on to the front group, while Tuft and Team Spidertech went crazy attacking all day. Svein got a well-deserved stage win, and picked up the seconds he needed to move up to third on GC, knocking me back to sixth.
As usual, any time you don’t win, you think about the places you lost time and regret it, but I’m pretty happy with the result overall. It was my first time racing for GC at an event of this caliber, the team did a great job babysitting me, and I learned some lessons I’ll get to apply in a few weeks at Cascade, where I intend to win the overall.
We’re now dragging the trailer back to America. At the border, they ask questions about what you’re bringing, including “Is anyone carrying more than $10,000 in cash?” Jim Stemper replied “I have a dollar. And I left my credit card at the Olive Garden.” The pro cycling life is pretty awesome.
Phil Gaimon, 25, is a VeloNews magazine columnist and third-year pro racer for Kenda-5 Hr Energy Presented by Gear Grinder. He has an English degree from the University of Florida, and owns online stores at podiumcycling.com and sharethedamnroad.com.