Friday, September 18, 2015


I have been sick since Tuesday. I had laryngitis and thought it would be better by yesterday since I felt good on Wednesday night. However, I woke up yesterday at 4am and was coughing a ton. I decided to call my team's director Steve Carpenter and let him know I was sick. As a result I pulled myself out of the squad. It was a tough decision, but it was the logical choice for me. It would have been really fun to race the World Championships in the USA, but my team will be a lot faster without a guy who is hacking up a lung. I will be well going into Tobago, so that gives me a better chance to do well there. It doesn't make sense to train or race while sick, even if you have the chance to race the race of a lifetime. I really look forward to going to Tobago in  10 days. I had a blast there last year and look to have a great time again this year!

Doylestown Crit

The Thompson Bucks County Doylestown Crit is one of the toughest crits out there on the calendar. It was 100km or 44 laps today on a 1.3 mile circuit in downtown Doylestown, PA. The plan for the day was to deliver Evan to the line for the field sprint. I have seen many breaks try in the race in the past but have only seen late attacks stick. It usually comes down to a field sprint. With that in mind I knew I would need to conserve at the beginning of the race. At the start I stayed near the front and stayed around Evan. My legs felt good and I was ready to help him in the end of the race. There were many attacks like usual, but the pace would increase and the breaks would be brought back. The biggest attack was a long attack by Chris Horner, Tom Zirbel, and an Elbowz rider. With 27 laps to go my legs left me and I got dropped. I did not expect this at all, but I feel my legs are feeling the long season.
In the race Evan, Oliver, and Matthieu were sitting well in the field getting ready for the finale. At some point Evan dropped his chain and Oliver helped push him back in. In the closing laps Optum lined up the field for Eric Young and Matthieu and Evan were right behind them. Evan was 6th wheel going into the last turn and came in 9th. Matthieu was right behind him in 10th. It was another solid day for the Lupus Racing Team. I really had a fun weekend even though my legs were not there. I always enjoy going to the Doylestown area this time of year for these races. They are fun and challenging. Also the host families at this race are always incredible. This year our hosts were awesome. They cooked us super dinners and breakfasts, and two of the hosts showed me home from the Reading race yesterday in the rain on their bikes. The host housing really helps out the teams. I will rest up this week in order to have good legs for the worlds TTT in Richmond next weekend and for the Tobago International Cycling Classic and Tour of Tobago at the start of October.

Reading 120

The Reading 120 was a 120 mile road race that started and finished in Reading, PA. We first did a 70 mile loop through the country and finished with 5 laps on a 10 mile circuit that had a 2.5 mile climb near town. The plan for the day was to have Oliver, Evan, or me get into the break. I felt good at the start and went with a few moves, but these moves got countered. Oliver and Evan were also doing well covering moves. I think I covered in total about 5 moves. Then my legs left me. I floated from the front to the back of the pack and then tried to move up again. The pace in the group was very fast. There were 20 guys just off the front of the bunch and the bunch was chasing hard. On one of the climbs my legs totally left me and I got popped. That was the end of my race. I initially thought I got dropped because my legs were bad. However, after looking at the power file it looks like I just went with too many attacks and made it really hard on myself. If I sat in a little more I maybe would have finished or at least would have been of more use to the team. I am not sure all that happened up front, but I got to the finishing circuits and Mattieu was in looking like he would get a top 10 with 2 laps to go. Kyle was also up there. Mattieu ended up finishing 10th while Kyle got 11th. All in all it was a great race for the Lupus Racing Team. Tomorrow is a 100km crit in Doylestown, PA. We should have another great ride there! Here is a link to my Strava for the race. Here is another funny note. When I uploaded to Strava it said this ride appears to have been done in a car. If you click on the analysis there is power for all of it. I just thought that was funny.

Tour of Alberta Stage 6

The final stage of the Tour of Alberta was 11 laps on an 11.3km hilly circuit for a total of 124.1km. It was a nice 60 or so degrees out for the stage and was cloudy. No rain was welcome. I only needed to use the Enzo’s Embro Stick on my legs today and only had to wear a jersey, shorts, vest, and arm warmers. The stage started off very quickly, and by the middle of the second lap on the KOM climb there was a break of 10 riders or so established. Trek just set an even tempo from this point on. I made sure to position myself well on the hills by passing people coasting on the downhills. It is smart to save energy over the course of a race like this. That way you have energy to spend at the end of the race. I spent most of the day with Chad and Matt helping Kyle to keep good positioning. With about 2 laps to go the pace began to wind up. We caught the break with about 1 lap to go. It was bananas over the KOM hill the last 2 laps but I was positioned well. With about 4km to go me, Matt, Kyle, and Chad were near the front of the field. Matt told me to go, so I attacked. I had about 20 seconds off the front of the field by myself and was caught. However, however it was good to get some TV time for Lupus Racing. As a result of my attack I was dropped on the hill I attacked on, but it is better to try than just sit in and come 20th. I am happy with how I felt today and look forward to the Reading 120 UCI 1.2 one day race next Saturday and the Doylestown Crit next Sunday. The Lupus Racing Team should do well there. I am also really thankful to all the staff DSs, support, soigneurs, and mechanics we had at the Tour of Alberta making us race food, washing bikes, washing clothes, daily massages, etc. Without their help we would not be able to perform at the level we do. I am also thankful to the Lupus Racing Team for sending us to all these awesome races. Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Alberta Stage 5

Today’s stage of the Tour of Alberta was a 204km stage from Edson to Spruce Grove. The weather for the day was 45 degrees and raining all day. The soigneurs had hot tea for us on the way over to the race start. Once again I covered my arms, chest, legs, and feet with Enzo’s Embro Stick. I also wore all the clothes I had with me. The goal for today was to get anyone into the break. With the course being a net downhill and a tailwind I thought the day was going to be relatively. All of our riders attempted at different times to get into the move of the day. The problem was the entire field wanted to get into the break. Also we were racing down a highway for the first 100km. That combination made for a tough first hour and 15 minutes of racing. I got into a good move with 3 Hincapie riders who drilled it super hard. That was the only match I had for this stage. Finally after 70kms of racing Trek let a move roll. Evan was just off the back of it and tried really hard to get into it. After Trek got off the front we realized just how cold it was outside. Without working hard we got very cold. About 90kms in Katusha drilled it in a crosswind where we missed the split. However, we all got back on by the feedzone about 100kms in. The soigneurs had some hot tea in the musette. That was a nice surprise. At this point we saw Evan back in the field again. There was an 8km dirt section around 120kms in. I got tailed off the group because my tires were slipping around, and I was a little nervous in the mud. After the sector I drafted some team cars to get back on. The pace in the peloton slowed again, and I got very cold. It became very mentally challenging to want to finish the stage. I told myself things like “at least you can breathe (unlike at 10,000+ feet at the Tour of Qinghai Lake)” and “at least you don’t have food poisoning” to keep myself going. There was another 5km dirt sector around 165km in and I missed the split again. Kyle was the only one of us to make the front group from here. There was another dirt sector of 2km 173km in, and I just stayed with my group. For the final 30kms we worked together just to stay warm. Normally it is wise to do zero work in the grupetto, but today was an exception. It was super cold out. There were supposed to be finishing circuits, but the race sent the peloton the wrong direction on the circuits. A Garmin rider took the stage win from a break. 21 riders abandoned the Tour of Alberta today, most likely due to the terrible/ epic weather conditions today. It was nice after the stage because we went into a hockey arena where there were hot showers. The staff had pizza, hot subs, and hot chocolate for us after the stage. That was super nice. The final stage tomorrow is 11 laps on an 11.3km hilly circuit for a total of 124.1km. Tomorrow’s stage starts at 12:50 mountain time. It should be a tough race! At least the forecast is for 62 degrees and cloudy. Apparently the link I have been giving for coverage is only streaming in Canada. Sorry about that. Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Alberta Stage 4

Stage 4 of the Tour of Alberta was a 162km stage where we did 3 laps of a circuit just outside of Jasper then climbed a 12km climb to Marmot Basin Ski Area. The plan for today was to get anyone on the team in a break except for Kyle, and for the rest of us to position Kyle into the final climb. Like yesterday the stage started off in frigid temperatures around the high 30s. I was once again wearing almost all my clothes and used that Enzo’s Embro Stick on my legs, feet, and chest. That thing has really saved me this week. A few kilometers into the stage we went over a climb that appeared smaller on the profile, and Thomas was off the front yet again! Chad, Michael Olheiser, and myself were positioned to go with another move if Thomas’ move came back. On the descent a Bora rider and an Axeon rider joined Thomas, and Trek sat up. That meant the break was established for the day and that was it. After this happened we mostly rolled along in the field and enjoyed the beautiful scenery around Jasper. I made sure to eat and hydrate a lot. That is very important in these races. Near the middle of the second lap I shed my shoe covers, cap, full-fingered gloves, and knee warmers. It was nice to not be riding in a full winter kit for once in the past few days! Near the end of the third lap we all started positioning Kyle toward the front of the peloton. Our whole team lined up next to Orica, and we got Kyle into the climb in decent position. I felt good, but after about a mile the pace was too much. I rolled up the climb with Chad, and we caught a group that had Thomas with about 5km to go. I feel pretty good going into tomorrow. Up the road Kyle fought it out near the front and finished a solid 15th. Tomorrow’s stage is a 204 km stage from Edson to Spruce Grove that starts at 10:35. The stage features around 56km of dirt roads, so it should be a fun one! Check out the live coverage here Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Alberta Stage 3

Stage 3 of the Tour of Alberta was a 182km stage from Grande Cache to Miette Hot Springs. The plan for the day was to put either Thomas, Michael Olheiser, or Matthieu in the breakaway. The rest of us were supposed to look after Kyle and Chad. The stage started off fast, and it took a while for Orica Green Edge to let a group that they liked roll. Finally they let Thomas roll with 2 other riders. Thomas was a beast for getting in the move. He literally rode off the front until the break was established, and it took about 30km for the break to establish. He is an animal for getting in the break again. After the break rolled the pace slowed a little bit, and Orica controlled the gap to around 3 minutes. I have to say that this was one of the coldest races I have ever done. It was wet out, and was about 35 degrees all day long. It was miserable. I was shivering and my hands were numb for most of the day. When it is this cold you have to be sure to stay on top of fluids still, and you have to eat a ton. I focused on doing that, and our staff had hot tea in the car for us as well. That was a genius idea! Also once again I had Enzo’s Buttonhole Embro Stick all over my body. I had it on my legs, my chest, and on my arms. After about 120km the pace started to pick up. Over the first categorized climb about 130km in a Trek rider gave me a Snickers. That was pretty nice! The stage finished with 2 climbs that came in the last 15kms. We caught Thomas around this point. The rest of us positioned Kyle and Chad in a good spot for the finish. Kyle was in a break at the end, and finished a solid 18th on the stage. On the first climb I tried to hang on but only lasted about a km. After that I rolled in in a group with Evan and both Mikes. I focused on saving energy, spinning a high cadence, and finishing the food in my pockets. After you do work for your teammates it is smart to start focusing on recovery for the next day. These races are tough, and the fatigue adds up by the end of them. I am really happy how we rode as a team today. Stage 4 is around 160km long. We start in Jasper, do 3 laps of a circuit and finish up a 12km climb to Marmot Basin Ski Area. Tomorrow’s stage starts at 11:35 mountain time. Check out the live coverage here Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Alberta Stage 2

Today’s stage of the Tour of Alberta was a 172km stage that started and Finished in Grande Prairie. It was relatively flat, and we expected a break to roll. It was my job to go into the break today. The temperatures at the start were around 40 degrees Fahrenheit with overcast conditions. We used Enzo’s Buttonhole Embro Stick on our legs, chest, and feet to stay warm. All the riders in the race were bundled up in winter gear. Trek pretty much let a break of 4 riders roll at kilometer zero. I was positioned near the front, but Thomas rolled with the move. That made my job for the day pretty easy. The rest of the team and stayed out of the wind and ate and drank while Trek set a tempo keeping the break in check. It is important to conserve energy in these stage races, even if it feels easy for the time being. You have to keep gas in the tank for later stages. I went back to get bottles at about 50kms in. After about 116 km we entered a circuit with a shallow 1.5km climb that we had to do twice. The first time up the climb we rolled easy. The second time up the climb at about 142km in we rolled harder, but the group was still huge. It started raining from this point on, which made it very cold. However, the pace ramped up at this point, so it made it fine. With about 10km to go we hit a similar climb coming out of the valley, and once again the group was huge over the top. Most of our team rolled in same time to the finish. Up at the front of the race Thomas was aggressive enough to earn the Most Aggressive Rider jersey. I think it is pretty incredible what our team is doing at the biggest race we have ever been to. After one road stage we are in a jersey. I’d say that really helps our cause of raising awareness for lupus, and it shows the race and other teams that we are here to race. It was a really fun stage to be out on the bike. Stage 3 is a 182km stage from Grande Cache to Miette Hot Springs. It looks like it finishes up a short climb from the profile. Tomorrow’s stage starts at 10:10 mountain time. Check out the live coverage here
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Alberta Stage 1

Tonight was the first the first stage of the Tour of Alberta. It was a 20km Team Time Trial (TTT) in the city of Grande Prairie. With a 6:15 pm start it meant we sat around the hotel all day waiting for the race. We left the hotel for the time trial to frigid cold temps and lots of wind. There were a lot of turns on the course, so it was very tough with the wind. We rode very strongly and consistently with everyone taking hard and smooth pulls. Our team has a bunch of super strong riders. I came off with about 3km to go, and the rest of the team finished together. We came in 45 seconds down on Trek Factory Racing in 11th place. It was a super solid ride from our first team time trial a few months ago. Tomorrow is a 172km stage that starts and finishes in Grand Prairie. It should be a cold and windy one.

Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Pre Tour of Alberta

The tour of Alberta begins this Wednesday. We arrived here in Grande Prairie on Friday. On Saturday the Lupus Racing Team attended a gala at the Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. The museum was very fun. We got a guided tour of the museum, and we even met the mayor of Grande Prairie. Our director Phil spoke at the gala and helped spread the message of our team. We have done some training rides around Grande Prairie, and the weather has been super. It reminds me of fall in the south. For most of the day we have been resting up for the race in our hotel rooms. It will be really exciting to begin the biggest race of my life. I will give updates daily from the Tour of Alberta. 

The Tour of Alberta begins tomorrow night with a team time trial. This morning the team rolled the 20 km TTT course together. We did some efforts and inspected the turns on the course. Our directors Phil Cortes and Steve Carpenter rolled behind us in the car and gave us advice via radios. It was a fun ride with some nice weather. After that we got massages. We also had the team presentation at the race. At the presentation Evan and Kyle talked about what our team’s message: to raise awareness of the autoimmune disease lupus. Be sure to check out the action via live feed on the Internet. The race begins around 6pm tomorrow night mountain time.

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 13

The 13th and final stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was a flat and fast one. We rode 66km then did 2 loops of 35km for a total of 136km. The race started off fast, and it took about 1 hour of racing for the break to go. Finally it went, and all of the Lupus Racing Team sat in and saved energy. With about 35km to go Mattieu started setting pace with Amore e Vita to bring the break back. Thomas began moving Evan toward the front of the field. The break was caught with about 10km to go. With about 7km to go Kyle and I got Evan to the front of the field. I gave one pull with about 5km to go and that was all I had. Kyle led Evan out in the end to a 13th place finish. I'm really thankful that my Lupus Racing Team sent me to this Tour of Qinghai Lake Race. It was really tough and I learned a lot about how much I can push myself here. I learned you can get sick, and become well again by the end of a race. I am also thankful to all the staff who helped me get through the race. Also thanks to my great teammates for fighting this battle with me. It was a fun one. We threw the ring in the lava. Gollum jumped in after it. Now it is time to return home.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 12

Today’s stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was a flat and fast one. We rode a flat circuit 8 times. The goal of the day was to put Evan in the best possible position for the sprint. The race was very fast and controlled. A break went from the gun, and sprinters teams held the gap close for the first few laps. Then the pace lessened. It was a pretty straight forward day to just sit in and draft, and that is what we did. We caught the break with 1 or 2 laps to go and the pace was pretty slow leading into the sprint. It ended up being a hectic finale, but Thomas, Kyle, and Mattieu helped get Evan into a good position and up for another top 20 placement. Even though it was a fast and “easy” stage I felt terrible all day. My congestion was worse than yesterday. Tomorrow is the final stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake. It is a flat 135km circuit race. Hopefully I feel better than I felt today. We have gotten into Mordor, are on Mt. Doom, and only have to throw the ring in the lava.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 11

Yesterday’s stage at the Tour of Qinghai Lake was the longest one at 240kms. Mike had his food poisoning come back again, so he was not able to start the stage. Nick started the stage with food poisoning. The goal of the days was once again to get Thomas in the breakaway to get mountains points. Like a couple days ago it was as if he had a rope tied to himself, and Adria would pull back anything with him in it immediately. The first hour of racing was bananas. Finally they let a break roll with Mattieu in it, but they never gave a big gap to the breakaway. The largest gap was 2-3 minutes. After 120kms we still saw Nick in the group, so I figured since he made it over the biggest climbs he was good. Over the final climb of the race the pace picked up in the last two kilometers and Evan, Kyle, and I were gapped off the front group. Kyle and I helped get Evan back to the group. After we began the descent down to the finish we could see factories and smoke in the air. I think the town where we finished is where things are “Made in China”. There were still about 40kms still to race. Amore e Vita took over the pace at the front of the peloton and dragged the break back with a few ks to go. Thomas and Kyle led out Evan for a solid 7th place finish while Gavazzi took yet another stage win. We learned at the finish that Nick had to pull over a few times with diarrhea, so he had to abandon after about 190kms. Making it 190kms with food poisoning seems pretty impressive to me. Kyle, Evan, and I all have head colds, but we got through the brunt of this race. There are only two flat circuit races left.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 10

Today’s stage was a fast and flat 100km circuit race. This morning the inevitable happened. The pollution got to me and my left nostril was clogged. Thanks to Mike I got some cough drops and some breathe rite strips and felt awesome for the stage. The goal of the day was either to put me, or Mike, or Matt in the break or to get Evan up there in the sprint. On the first lap I covered everything, and it was apparent that Adria wanted to keep it together. They would put 2-3 guys in a move and not work. They did this for the first two sprint points. After the second sprint point halfway through Mike launched me up the road, but still we couldn’t roll. Then a big group rolled with Mike. Adria signaled to a Lampre rider that he could roll off, so I followed. As soon as I got to the front group an attack went that was the break of the day, but I was completely toast from bridging. Then Adria and Amore e Vita set pace to reel the break back in. With 3km to go Mike, Thomas, and Mattieu had Evan up at the front. With 2 kilometers to go Rusvelo took over, and Gavazzi from Amore e Vita took the stage win. We all finished safely in the bunch and live to fight the 240km stage tomorrow.

Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 9

Yesterday’s stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was a tough one. It was 203 km, and we went over 3 climbs. We only climbed about 1500 meters in 203 kms, so it did not look like it would be that bad. The goal of the day was to get Thomas in a break to get KOM points. From the gun Thomas went in a move. The rest of the team would get in and cover moves that Thomas was not in. It was full gas, and nothing was getting away. Finally on the first non-categorized climb a move got away, but it had 4th place in GC in it. Thomas got into that one, but it was just too fast. He came back to the group. It was really fast over that non-categorized climb, and full gas over the next climb and on the downhill to bring that move back. Finally before the final climb it was all back together again. Since it was back together moves went again, and it was full gas over the final climb. Thomas attacked a couple times on the final climb, but it was like he had a bungee chord attached to him. The leader’s team would not let him get a gap. However, he got some KOM points. Kyle flatted at the base of the final climb. It was terrible timing. After the climbs the pace was fast to the line. I learned with about 20km to go that my handlebars were broken, most likely from my crash yesterday. With 10km to go Nick launched a solo effort and was caught at 3 kms to go. All of us but Kyle (since he got that flat) rolled in with the group for same time. Kyle rolled in with the grupetto. All of us made it to the rest day in good shape. A few of us crashed, but all the wounds are superficial. Mike now has food poisoning though. I hope it can go away in a day.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 8

Today’s stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was 126 km long. The first 30km were rolling. Then we went over a mountain until 45 km in. Then the stage was rolling again and downhill into town after 90 kilometers. At the start of the race it was raining, so a lot of guys thought they could get into the break. The pace was fast, and after about 15-20 km the break rolled. The terrain was very sketchy as there was a lot of mud and deep spots of water. Kyle crashed right in front of me, so we both went down. We got back into the peloton about halfway up the KOM climb. As we were going up the climb boulders were falling off the mountain, and one almost hit our team mechanic. During the rolling part Amore e Vita began setting pace for an inevitable sprint finish. I flatted about 70 km in and almost regained with the caravan but just did not. I time trialed in to make time cut. Up in the group Mattieu made an attempt at a solo move with 5 kilometers to go but was caught. Amore e Vita took the stage win and our guys finished safely in the group. Tomorrow's stage is 203 km with some climbs. Then we have a rest day.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 7

Stage 7 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was a tough one. It was 190 km long and we started out with a big climb. We put Kyle into the breakaway, so he was able to crest the climb ahead of Thomas. Mattieu and Michael crested the climb with Thomas and worked to get him back into the front group. I crested the climb 30 seconds behind them. At the top of the climb we were at 3500 meters, and we descended a little bit but climbed mountains and were never below 9000 feet for a lot of the stage. On the next climb I saw that Mike and Mattieu were about 2 minutes ahead of me, so I gave up the idea of catching them again. I rolled with a group that was always going pretty hard. The views were spectacular today. My group joined up with a group that included Nick and Mattieu with about 70km to go. Eventually with about 50km to go we started descending for almost the rest of the stage. The descent was very pretty. There was a river and there were rocks on all sides of us. Eventually the rocks turned to red rocks, and it was just unbelievable. China is a really beautiful place. Thomas rolled into the finish in the main bunch. A Lampre rider stayed away solo for the stage win. A super tough day is in the books. Tomorrow we have a 126km stage with less climbing than today, and we only top out at about 2400 meters instead of 3500 meters.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 6

Stage 6 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was a 138 km stage where we once again climbed to over 12,000 feet in elevation. The plan was to have me go into the breakaway, and Matt helped get me into a move with a couple other guys. Then I went back into the field to recover and Thomas launched an attack that was the break of the day. This made the day easy for us in the field. We rode together and protected each other in case any splits happened in crosswinds, but that never happened. We got Kyle into position going into the climb, and he made it over in the main group. Thomas was still off the front. He almost won the stage, but was caught by Kyle’s group with 25 meters to go. So close to victory… The rest of us finished safely and are ready for tomorrow’s 190 km stage with a bunch of climbing.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 5

Stage 5 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was a tough 133km stage that wrapped around Qinghai Lake, had a steep 6km climb coming about 80 km into the stage and descending from the top of the climb to the finish. The plan was to get two riders into the break to have people help Thomas on the climb and have the other riders protect Thomas and keep him out of the wind. From the start me, Kyle, Mattieu, and Olheiser went into moves. The pace was really fast with tailwinds, and Kolss was controlling the group super well. Finally Mattieu got into a move with two other guys. After this we helped keep Thomas out of the wind, and eventually a split happened in a crosswind. I was with Thomas when the split happened, but I tapped my brakes and that put me out of it. Luckily we had Mattieu up the road, and Kyle and Evan made the split with Thomas. After this point I stayed out of the wind in the second group while teams that missed out hammered. Up front Kyle and Thomas rode the climb in the yellow jersey group. Thomas finished the stage 2 minutes and 50 seconds back and is now 8th in GC. Tomorrow is a similar 138 km stage with a cat 1 climb, but we do not start next to Qinghai Lake, so crosswinds should be less and the climb is smaller than today. Also after tomorrow’s stage we will only be at 2200 meters. That should feel like sea level compared to the 2800 meters we are staying at now.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 4

Today’s stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was a 185 km flat stage around Qinghai Lake. That meant that it was a super windy stage. The whole team rode near the front and helped protect each other for most of the stage. At about 120km into the stage the Park Hotel Valkenburg team lit it up in the cross winds. I could not follow the surge even though I was at the front. I pretty much got spit out of the peloton because I just can’t breathe up here at 10,000 feet. However, the team was able to get Thomas in the front group yet again. He still remains in 6th place overall 10 seconds down. Tomorrow is a 133km stage with something that looks like Skyuka starting at 10,000 feet and finishing at 12,000 feet. We will position Thomas so he can do well on the climb and hopefully take the yellow jersey.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 3

Today’s stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was a tough one. It was 145km long. We climbed for about the first 85km. The goal was to put either myself, Mike, Mattieu, or Kyle into the break. The racing started off aggressive from the gun. After about 10 or 15 km into the stage we had Mattieu and Evan in the break off the front. This put us in a good position. After about 65km Thomas went of the front of our group and at about 70 km in I brought Kyle to the front. Almost instantaneously a few guys went, and he followed them. I knew I couldn’t follow the best guys today, so I decided to conserve energy for later in the week. Up in the break Evan had some bad luck breaking his shifter cable. With about 1km to the top of the climb Evan came to me and Michael’s group. So we had Kyle, Thomas, and Mattieu off the front. Mattieu’s break almost stuck it to the end. Thomas’ group caught Mattieu’s group in the final kilometer. That put Thomas in 6th place in the overall and Mattieu is now in 10th. I rode in in the grupetto, but it was crazy because with about 15 km to go the group started making echelons in the crosswinds. I am not sure why our group did this. I ended up rolling in around 8 minutes down. It is really difficult to breathe up here at over 9000 feet. Just laying in bed is difficult. Climbing the stairs in the hotel is terrible. We will be this high for a few days. Tomorrow’s stage is rolling and 185km long. We will be next to Qinghai Lake for all of it, so there should be some bad wind. It is also supposed to be 55 degrees and raining.

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 2

The second stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake was 188 km and was another relatively flat one. We did 60km out to a circuit and then did 3 laps on the 43km circuit. The plan was to put either myself, Michael, or Matthieu into the breakaway. From the start the three of us and Kyle followed moves. Matthieu got into a promising group of five but it was reeled back in. Then Michael went in a group of about 10 guys. We went hard up a hill and caught Mike's group. Then the pace slowed for a bit and I decided to go. This was about 30k into the stage. A Chinese rider joined me, but I honestly hoped we had a few more riders. We worked together well. Back in the field, Adria, the team in yellow, controlled the pace for most of the race. There were sprint points and time bonuses on the line each lap of the circuit. The Chinese rider took the first two sprints in front of me but after the second time through the line he sat up because he was toast. That left me on my own with about 80km still to race. I held on for 60 more km and took more time bonuses and sprint points. At this point Southeast, Kolss-BDC, and Amore e Vita were working to bring me back. The field caught me with about 20km left to go and I finished in the field with same time. Our team worked together and avoided some high speed crashes. In the finale Evan put together another top 10 finish. The time bonuses put me into 3rd place in the general classification after this stage. Tomorrow we have a 143km stage with an 85km climb.
Here is a link to my ride on Strava:

Tour of Qinghai Lake Stage 1

Stage 1 was a 122km stage on a 17km circuit in Xining. There were a ton of fans at the start taking pictures. Those fans were lining the entire 17km circuit. There were also drones and a helicopter taking video of the race. We did 7 laps. The circuit was wide open and flat, which made for a very fast race. The racing was aggressive from the gun. After a couple laps we put Thomas and Nick in a break and the rest of the team just sat near the front of the peloton while other teams chased. The break was caught with about 20km to go and we set pace at the front. Evan came in 10th on the stage and Thomas and Nick are sitting in 6th and 7th on GC by picking up time bonuses while in the breakaway. It was an awesome first stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake for Lupus Racing Team. Tomorrow's stage is a flat 188km stage.