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Tour Del Sol - By Paul Warner

As I sit here in the comfort of my own home and reflect on a race called the “Tour Del Sol” I can only be super thankful for another opportunity to enjoy the warm weather, as Boise has not received the memo to warm up yet!! There was a lot that happened outside of bike racing en route to St. George Utah. I decided to harness my inner businessman, and organized a ride share through craigslist, charging $35 a person. I was able to negotiate prices, and routes to get us all to salt lake city safe and sound. There was quite an array of different people in my car for the 5 hour drive through nothingness. What we where able to talk about was rather shocking, considering we where all drinking coffee for our morning departure.

Enough with how I gave people rides and made money. Time to chat about some bike racing!

Stage 1-20k TT (rolling hills the whole way)

So everything goes well at the host house in the morning until I realized that I forgot my TT helmet in Boise. Realizing that I had forgotten a very important piece of equipment was a great way to spike my already jacked up heart rate considering I drank an entire French Press Coffee for my Pre-race drink. I knew I could think of something, I was not worried, rather amped on caffeine and life. So Nicole and I show up to the start and pull up to a nice lady warming up. (We later learn she is 53 years old) I ask her if I can borrow her helmet. She said yes! And her helmet was way nicer than mine so I felt like this was going to be a good race. I do a prescribed warm up from Coach John to get my legs set for action. The game plan was to do 320watts for 25-30 mins, considering that there was a lot of down hill that would offset the power numbers. I came in to 319watts for 26 minutes setting me up with 18th place and within a reasonable time of the general classification leaders. My goal was to sneak into the top 10.

Stage 2-Criterium-THAT WAS CANCELLED!!

The crit took place on a plane run way over looking St. George. Probably one of the coolest settings for a bike race that one could possibly imagine! However, the race was planned to go off at 8:40 PM. (Which was a little late but who cares.) It was 80 degrees that day so I was on cloud nine.As soon as I showed up to the race it was already dusk, and there where two lights lighting up the whole course. For two of the long straight-aways it was completely black. In the warm up laps I could not see my Garmin, or my hand in front of me for that matter. However, I could see the stars. After a warm up lap, the race officials deemed the stage “Too Dangerous” cancelling the stage.

Stage 3- 84 Mile road race-*with 30 mph winds, and 4,000 feet of climbing.

As soon as the race started there were people trying to get up the road. I have never felt wind coming at me from all different directions at once. Wind should only be able to come from one direction, right? It was hard to stay on a wheel due to how much chaos the wind inflicted on the peloton. The Canyon guys, consisting of three of us (me, Mitchell Peterson, and Joe Waters), where in all the moves, taking turns going up the road. Racing in a smaller peloton felt like mountain biking, you are either going as hard as possible, or sitting and doing nothing. With about 50 miles to go in the race Mitchell goes with another person, Joe and I anticipated the move and we knew it was our chance to enjoy the rest of the day while Mitchell took a shot at the win. At the base of the steepest climb on the circuit about 10 riders attacked, separating what remained of the peloton. At the top of the climb I was sitting about 4th wheel and ready to do as little work as possible as they tried to reach Mitchell. There where several climbs to go so I tried to make myself as little noticed as possible sitting at the back of the chase group.Mitchell ended up staying away, and I ended up getting 6th on the stage and 7th overall.

I was super excited that I reached my Top 10 goal in a well-respected race in the South West!

Thanks For reading!!

-Paul Warner

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