Day 1 75 miles and 2,218 elevation gain.
Sharon is back for her 9th year of doing RTR. Melissa is back doing her 4th year and Lanier is on her 5th year.
The Naked girls started the day in Telluride with Sam Anderson and Sean Bender. Out of the shoot we started our climb up Lizard Head Pass. Mama Madison needs a good warm-up and that didn’t happen. Then came Chris Thompson from 303 Cycling to my rescue. He asked if Rachel was here. I told him no. He asked if I knew Ingird, I said yes. He asked if I did the Sunshine challenge, I said yes. Now we were instant best friends. He took care of me the rest of the day. If I started falling off the group because of a guy who jumped on our train and sped up he came to my rescue and pulled me back on.
I was great in the front on the uphills but when we hit the down hills, Lanier shoved me aside and took over with Sean. This is where Kris said lets just stay tucked in and pretend we are in the yellow jersey. He started feeling guilty, so he went out to pull but it was so windy, it got us nowhere. I told him to get that yellow jersey back on and tuck in with me. Heck, if Lanier and Sean wanted to dominate the downhill, let them. That was my philosophy.
We were keeping a great pace. We passed Nelson Vails and we heard George Hincapie was trying to chase us down all day, with no avail.
There were definitely a lot of people who jumped on our train for the free ride. There were also the occasional one trip ponies who sprinted for the finish line 20-40 miles before the finish line. Not to worry, Lanier was on it and reeled them back in.
As you can see we were tempted by the free wine tasting in Delores but we decided we better stick with our water. Save the wine for later.
We decide to do this Spine One photo because we were told by a stranger that since Spine One was our sponsor, we better stand up straight and have great posture. Dr. Haney from Spine One usually does RTR with us but had another commitment this year. He is missed.
We finished the day at the beer garden where everyone enjoyed their beers except Melissa (Princess in Training) and Mama Madison who don’t drink beer.
Tomorrow we go from Cortez to Durango where massages will be waiting for us. We have 64 miles and 3,442 elevation gain.