It's been awhile, I know. But as the season gets longer and longer - I find less and less energy to post blog updates. Too busy? No. Laziness? Absolutely. There's been quite a bit of racing since Cascade where we got a couple of stage wins and a day in the leader's jersey. We had the big money stage race in Elk Grove, IL where I was able to score a couple of big novelty checks by winning the TT and finishing on the podium. Another highlight of that race was getting kisses on the podium from the Elk Grove mayor's daughter and her friend again this year. They are 19 now and growing up so fast! I remember just last year when they were only 18 and still in high school? Yeah, I just think it's funny that the mayor has his daughter up there kissing dodgy bike racers. Anyway, though not my cup-o-java, they treat us well at Elk Grove and I hope it continues to grow.
Then it was on to the Meijer Grand Cycling Classic in Grand Rapids, MI. Our main man and sponsor Bob Hughes makes this race happen so it's important for us to perform well there (ie. WIN!!). And I don't know if you'd heard the news, but I'm a crit specialist now cuz I was able to pull off the victory ahead of a strong and savvy Jake Rytlewski in our 2 man escape. Jake the Snake is my former teammate and he is very good all-arounder. He can climb, corner, and sprint all very well so I had my work cut out for me. Because we HAD to win our home race, I was a jerk to him and made him take 2 pulls to my 1. He is going very good right now and has since placed top 5 at Downer's and Marion. Impressive for a 'little climber', huh? Oh, did I mention he is tiny on the bike and tends to kiss his stem while he rides? I was very annoyed and angry at the world for being in a break with him of all people. I pirated this photo of his site: www.breezer.org in order to show you why I was so miserable on his wheel.
Up next was the Tour of Utah this past week where we had a stage win and another podium finish on the hardest day. More importantly we animated the race that final mountain day and really put the pressure on Rock, BMC, and Type 1. Great racing Vennell, BJM, and T-Bird! That's what it's all about. Me on the other hand, was going up that final Snowbird climb on Sat. at roughly 10kph, going as hard as I could muster, cursing Burke and his "hometown race" all the way up. Thanks to all the fans along the climb who took pity on me by dumping cold water on me and giving me the occasional push. I was also helped (emotionally) by having family at the race. I got to see an aunt, uncle and cousins whom I hadn't seen in years for the TT, and a different aunt, uncle, and cousin who live SLC for the weekend races. Incredible. For those of you keeping track - I have had friends and family come to watch me/Bissell at every race this year except the Argentina race and the Tour of the Gila. Can you believe that??? How's that for a support system?!? Yep, I'm a lucky dude. I don't deny it.
Next up is the TT/RR in Greenville and a week later is the Tour of Missouri. It'll be interesting to see how well different people have managed the long season coming into these big, big races at the end of the year. I feel confident, so hopefully I've done something right. ;-)
Thanks for reading.