Phil Gaimon Journal: Dennis loses, then wins, in California

The Garmin-Sharp rider talks about Rohan Dennis' defeat in a team bet, which he overshadowed with a victory on Mount Diablo

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

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First things first: Rohan Dennis lost the bet Monday. Caleb Fairly had wagered that he couldn’t go a day without cussing, and Rohan did surprisingly well. Before the time trial at the Amgen Tour of California, he said he’d never felt so pure. “I feel like I could go to school again!” It was a new Rohan. He even managed not to swear after yet another second place in a time trial.

But eventually, Rohan was overheard when we were stuck in traffic saying, well, what we all say when we’re stuck in damn traffic. Rohan didn’t even realize he’d done it until the evening, when Nate Brown bravely informed him. Then it was a stream of pent-up vulgarity, as Rohan was finally liberated. I cried laughing.

We had grits for dinner, which made this Georgia boy very happy (they called it polenta, but I know the truth). Ben King told a story where a friend asked a waitress what grits were. She explained (in a thick southern accent) “Well, it’s like oatmeal, but it’s grits.” If that’s not funny, it’s because you’ve got to hear Ben say it.

Rohan probably isn’t too bummed about losing the bet, though, because the dude killed everyone on a mountaintop finish yesterday, sealing the deal after a strong display of strength in numbers and good teamwork from the guys.

With that heroic effort, you’ve got a bike race to watch this week, rather than just watching Wiggo ride away with it like everyone was expecting. Rohan says you’re effing welcome.

Alex Howes stomach bug update: Not good, folks. I don’t even want to joke about it anymore. Bathroom jokes are funny, but he’s attained Viking status for hanging in there.

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