Tour Of Walla Walla - Zachery Garland - April 21 2008


well that time again to give a little update on some racing.  i am here in Vancouver getting some racing in between my winter work term and summer school term.

this weekend we raced the tour of Walla Walla.  it is a 4 stage 3 day race.  the first stage was a 100km road race on friday evening.  it consisted of 2 laps with some decent size climbs on it. early on a 2 man break go away and they go about a 3 minute gap.  some eams started really riding hard to bring them back.  this rard riding shattered the pack but did not bring back the break.  well actually we caught one guy, but the other stayed away to finish ahead of about a 30 man group.  i was in the front group.  i tried my best to break things up on the last climb of the day however my nothing was getting away.

saturday was a long day with a 12km tt in the morning and a 160km road race in the afternoon.  the tt was an out and back. out was slightly uphill and full on head wind.  I felt like i was just fighting with the bike on the way out.  however, my effort was rewarded with a 13th place, moving me up to 13th overall and really close to all the placings from 2nd to 13th.

next up was the 'queen" stage. a 160km road race featuring the same type of terrain as Fridays stage.  once again it was pretty windy.  the stage finished on a 3km climb and i knew if i came into there with the leaders i could make something happen.  the race was fairly aggressive with the general classification fairly tight.  with about 50km to go 5 of us got away.  we worked really well together.  about 30km later 3 others bridged up to us.  the about 8km to go a rider attacked and myself and another rider went with us.  we were riding super fast at the point and i could see i was stronger then the others.  when we hit the bottom of the 3km hill the race finished on i just left it in the bog ring and did an acceleration.  i instantly got about a 30 second gap.  i got into a rhythm and by the time i got to the top i had won by one minute.  probably my biggest win!
moreover, my efforts put me into second overall with a minute gap going into the final stage.

the final stage was a 60 minute crit.  fairly straight forward and things stayed together.  so no changes on GC!

so needless to say a very good weekend!

also a HUGE thanks to my teammates for ensuring i was protected for the wind and in the front of the race. 

next up is a 2 day 3 stage race next weeeknd in Maple Ridge, just outside Vancouver.

thanks for reading,

Zack Garland