July 1, 2008
The winners on the day, stage four, were Kona. They seemed to be very motivated. One of their riders, Kris Sneddon is from this area and lives here. I think that made him energized, and he was comfortable on his home trails.
Team Kona, which also included Barry Wicks, set the pace from the beginning. There was a lot of singletrack today - a lot of up and down and rolling singletrack. It was somewhat flowy and smooth at times at times, somewhat rough at times and somewhat technical at times.
There were several other teams holding Kona's pace for the first half of the race, and then for the second half of the race, the gap started to grow over the Aussie Flight Centre team [of Tim Bennett and Adrian Jackson - ed.] and our Team Trek.
Just about the time Team Kona got a gap of about 20 seconds over the Aussie team and us, we got a flat tire.
It took us awhile to fix the flat. We actually had to change it twice as the first inner tube didn't work out. We probably lost about four minutes, and then we resumed chasing for about the last hour of the race.
Kona continued to ride well and won the stage. The Aussie team was second, the Costa Rican [La Ruta / Sho-Air / Economy Car Rental] team [of Manuel Prado and Marvin Campos - ed.] was third. We were fourth. The key element was that Kona beat us by over seven minutes today and they were only behind by two minutes going into the day, so they took over the lead.
What's been interesting it that there have been four different stage winners so far in the men's race - a different one each day. It was another tough day. The winning time was just over three hours.
We'll do it all again tomorrow.
Trek / VW
Trek / VW Team:
Jeff Schalk (USA), 34, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Chris Eatough (USA), 33, Oella, Maryland
GFK Racing Team:
Jason Berry (USA), 33, Arlington, Virginia
Jon Posner aka "Poz" (USA), 33, Catonsville, Maryland