Paul: Yes, Phil, he is remarkable. He--
Phil: Yes he is. And let me tell you he has that mountain bike background and can really descend with the best of them so he will surely make up time in the general classification. Let’s take a short commercial break…
Commercial; “What does Lance say about the Tour Divide and Jarral, a diabetic, riding it, 5 hour special tonight instead of race coverage….”
Phil: And were back and the main peloton has put on a blistering pace. Jarral has made it to Radium and is waiting for a train to pass at the Colorado River. This is just spectacular country. There is a shot from above of the huge canyon; riders must drop into and cross the Colorado River and then climb back out of. And let me tell you, it is warm down there. The river flows nearly to the Gulf of Mexico after going through the Grand Canyon. And he has crossed the river and is looking for water at a campground.
Paul: I don’t think he’s going to find any, Phil. Campgrounds don’t have water much anymore.
Phil: And right you are. It looks like he is asking some rafters if there is any water spigots. And look, they are shaking their heads but pointing to a large blue jug in their truck. Lucky to get water here Paul. And now he is on his way up a long climb. After the summit, he will come close to the town Kremling where he could resupply. Kremling has had some controversy with its fight with International Falls, MN as being designated the “icebox” of the lower forty eight states of the United States. Everybody knows Gunnison, Colorado holds that title.
Paul: And now with that long climb ahead of him he must be glad that he found some water.
Phil: It is indeed a long climb and it is a HOT climb. Now let’s take a short break to see what Lance had for breakfast this morning.
Commercial; “What does Lance say about the Paleo diet, 5 hour special tonight instead of race coverage….”
Phil: And we’re back. Jarral is climbing like a man possessed. He has climbed to the turn off to Kremling. But you have to wonder if he will pass up this short detour or try to make some time up. And yes it looks like he is going to resupply in Silverthorn on the I70 corridor and pass by Kremling in another 50 odd miles. Just look at his face. He is pure determination. If he does need food and water, his domestics on his team will likely resupply from the team car.
Paul: Phil, there are no domestics or team cars in the Tour Divide. Let’s take a short break.
Commercial break for 15 minutes.
Phil: Here we are with Jarral nearing Ute Pass. And look at Jarral’s eyes. He looks like he is cracking! They are rolling back in his head. He needs to get past the road work where they are grading and spraying magnesium chloride solution on the roads. This is common here as it packs the roads into a cement like surface. He needs to regroup before he heads up the final climb to the top of Ute pass. Oh wait he is laying down at the end of the construction. Is he, yes he’s taking a nap! He has CRACKED! He is down, but let’s see if he can recover.
Commercial break for 25 minutes.
Paul: And he is up. He’s up and pedaling. A little wobbly.
Phil: Yes when you crack you have just pushed too hard. Possibly he didn’t eat enough and or needs more water. He is really struggling over Ute Pass. But he knows if he can get over this and not let the peloton gain on him he has a long descent and then a paved road to Silverthorn.
Phil: And now it looks like Jarral is still suffering on the road to Silverthorn. Look he is in the river! He is pouring water on his head while he stands in the river! And now it looks like he is going to fill his water from the river.
Paul: Yes he will undoubtedly treat this water.
Phil: And he is really suffering as he is finally coming to a gas station. Here he comes out. Look at him! Have you ever seen anything like that? Both hands full of food and he’s shoving it in faster than I’ve ever seen someone eat. He is really stuffing his face.
Paul: And now just look at the shot from the air of the surrounding area. The trees have just been decimated by the bark beetle. Nearly every tree is dead.
Phil: Yes, they are. One spark and the whole place will burn. Quite the droughts they have had this year and over the past ten years. Now he must be overwhelmed as he has been riding by himself and now there are cars and people everywhere.
Paul: And he is now on a narrow bike path for 17 miles to the resort town of Breckenridge.
Phil: Indeed this path is crowded with recreational road cyclists and grandmas and parents with strollers. It is indeed a sad state for a cyclist to have to ride 17 miles of bike path in this congested city. Let’s take a short break and we’ll be right back.
Commercial, Another 20 minute commercial break featuring the Lance episode described previously.
Phil: And we’re back. The main rider in the field, Jarral Ryter, has been climbing the Col de Como-Boreas pass with exceptional speed as we see the sun setting over the majestic Colorado mountains. He really seems to have recovered from his difficulties earlier and has dug deep and really pushed hard to put some distance in.
Coming down the other side he will have to contend with a single track trail that at night can be tricky with a multitude of rocks. But other than that, it should be fast as he is a very good at descending and has an excellent mountain biking background.
And now it looks like he is at the bottom and he is going right past the Como hotel and is going to camp next to the road several miles past. This is remarkable as he could have had a nice place to stay as the light was on.
This is indeed a tremendous occasion, this Tour Divide , let’s see if we can catch up with Jarral for a post stage interview.
Jarral, how do you feel about your stage win and how did it feel?
Jarral: Today's stage was a hard stage and very hot as I came to Ute Pass. I was really suffering and had run out of water and then I bonked. I rallied on the bike path and had some ice cream and a triple shot mocha latte in Breck that started me up again. I felt good coming up Boreas Pass and put the hammer down. The single track section was tough at night with packs on but I got through it. I was having some interesting visions as lights seem to come on and follow me as I got close to the town of Como. Very unnerving. I finally had enough and found a nice spot by an old ranch under some trees and went to sleep. For the day I rode about 140 miles. We'll see how tomorrow goes. We've still got another 1000 miles or so to go in the rugged mountains of southern Colorado and New Mexico followed by the heat of southern New Mexico.
Phil: Well, thanks for tuning in and we'll be back tomorrow for a 5 hour special on Lance. Did he or didn't he maybe possibly use performance enhancing substances?