Phil Gaimon Journal: Hurry up, blinding pain, and wait

Phil Gaimon recounts his day of being mistaken as a favorite by the press and his friends, and teammate Dennis' no-cussing bet

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Monday was the time trial at the Amgen Tour of California, which mostly meant sitting around. First, a 30-minute bus ride to the start. Then, I sat around while my teammates warmed up, raced, and cooled down, until it was my turn to do those things. Then a long drive to San Jose, where we stay tonight.

Aside from sitting around and relaxing, we each had about 20-30 minutes of blinding pain. The course was more rolling than it looked on the profile, but all in the big ring. It was hot, but I started with a stocking full of ice stuffed into the back of my jersey, which looks really creepy when it’s melted, because then it’s just a ripped-up stocking.

Wiggins won. You could tell that Sky is serious about this race, because they have a ton of staff here. I walked past the Sky bus earlier, and they had two people putting laundry in the same washer, and one guy behind them, just watching. I assume he was maximizing the detergent efficiency, analyzing the aerodynamics of the laundry bags, and calculating the washer stress score.

One of the cycling news sites listed me as a favorite this morning. I was worried for a minute, but it was an oversight, and they meant my teammate Rohan Dennis. They corrected it pretty quick, so the pressure was off little old me, but it’s funny how many messages I got from friends who were fooled, and stoked that I was a favorite. Some said that if I just believed in myself, maybe I could win the TT. Or even the overall. It’s true that I trained really hard, and I’m damn fit, right? Yes, and don’t tell your kids, but it doesn’t work that way. My 40th place, at two or three minutes back (when you’re that far back, you don’t look too close at the results), is one of my better time trial results, so I’m content.

Rohan finished second today, approximately his 39,842,093,849,203rd time finishing second. More importantly, though, he’s poised to win a bet with teammate Caleb Fairly about whether he could go a day without cussing. He’s made it to 7 p.m., but he’s invented a lot of new terms for private parts and people he doesn’t like, and it only takes one slip-up to lose the bet. It’s getting tense for Caleb (we all thought he’d be an easy winner), but it’s hilarious for the rest of us.

Not content is teammate Alex Howes, who’s been sick with a stomach bug this week. He said his bowel movements were improving, but based on the smells in the car on the drive to the hotel, he’s not there yet.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.