HealthNet-Maxxis rider Rory Sutherland is back in action both on and off the bike. At daytime, he is racing in the Tour de Georgia, while after the stage (and the shower, massage and dinner) he is off to bring his exclusive diary to the Cyclingnews readers. Here is his stage 1 report.
Off and running again in another of the three big tours in the United States of America. What's great is that this race seems to be getting bigger, and actually, more fun. The organisation is great, weather is about 100 percent better than the Tour of California (not hard considering it rained the whole week!), and the riders are a lot more relaxed than in California, too. The first day is always interesting, today being no different. 113 kms of fast, pancake-flat racing. Just what the doctor ordered. Today was not one of my best days on the bike, but I survived, and 'should' get better day-by-day, if history is anything to go by.
To get here to the Tour de Georgia has been an interesting trip. I had to race in Sea Otter first on Saturday, jump on a red-eye flight in San Francisco, fly through the night, get to Atlanta, then another flight down to Savannah, a few media things, little ride, massage, sleep, and go. Maybe not the greatest preparation for the tour, but you know what, that's life. I'm paid to ride my bike, so that's what I do. Not opposed to a pay raise, though? Wink, wink...
The run into Georgia has been a pretty good one. I've been living in Santa Barbara for the last few months, enjoying the sun, and good friends. I figured something out, 'apparently' if you are happy, then you ride well... I know, I'm a smart one, only seven to eight years of being an apparently pro rider, and I only just figured that one out. Tim (room-mate supreme) gave me a blank look like "you're a retard, I've been telling you that forever."
The full diary entry is available here.