Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Rory Sutherland during the pre-race press conference.
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

The Rory Sutherland Tour of California diary

Rory Sutherland is back again – the 25 year-old Australian from Canberra is reporting from the 2008 Tour of California for Cyclingnews. The 2004 Australian Under 23 National Champion will keep readers up to date every day on his and Team Health Net's progress as they race down the Golden State as part of the eight-day race. (For more read his 2007 diaries.)

Index to all entries

Stage 3, Modesto - San Jose 103miles/152kms

Not my greatest day

I "attempt" not to whinge, or whine, but sometimes it slips out like today. It is true, I didn't have the best of days. It was one seriously hard day of racing, and I think anyone making it to the finish should be given a pat on the back for the effort. Everyone watches, either in person or on TV, and smiles as the leaders climb up the mountain passes, cheers when they cross the line, and then either walk away, turn the TV off, or stop watching the live reports. There are however the forgotten people, the ones who aren't in the realm of 50 kilograms, or near 140 pounds. The ones who have been on the front during the day, the ones who help you chase back on after a flat tire, and the ones who get bottles from the car. Don't forget these people need to go up the same hills and get to the finish within a certain time frame, too.

So back to the race itself. Interesting, hard, scary, painful, long – all of the above. You can naturally read the severity of it on the race report (something I don't really write about here). The best part of today's race, apart from reading the emails I have gotten, was being yelled at by a fan up Sierra mountain (sorry for the lack of enthusiasm, Mr supporter, I was a little cross-eyed by this stage!). I will not forget you, the scream of "We love your blog, Rory!!" will stay with me forever! If you read this, email me.... and I will most certainly hook you up (see, those American talking lessons are paying off).

My new inbox is full. I have now managed to get over 100 avid and very kind readers who have emailed me. This is amazing. Tim's Mother has even told me I am a hit in Massachusetts, somewhere that TJ says I can only dream about going to. Apparently that's how great it really is! I am still waiting for someone to visit before or after the race!!! Regarding the questions, it's pretty hard to answer them all in one go, let alone one week. But here goes....

- No, I do not speak Kazakh.
- No, Chris Horner does not seem to be speaking with this Kazakh accent.
- No, I don't think Levi's American Champion's Jersey is the new Kazakh flag
- No, I do not have opinions on Astana's Tour de France non selection...... Not for here anyway, as we are in fact in the Tour of California. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
- No, I don't think I am qualified to give training advice.
- Yes to the person who offered me free beer in Santa Barbara, sign me up!
- Rock and Republic is not an opinion I am willing to give. My idea here is not to judge people. If someone is in the news, for whatever, it is still good press.
- Cat-eyes will always be known as Cat-eyes to me, but thanks to those that gave me the history of them.... ;-)
- Yes, I should be coming to the Tour de Georgia.
- Yes, I should be at the Tour of Missouri.
- Yes, I will endeavour to get our jersey up the front more. I apologize to those who hadn't seen too much of us. I'm sure we were sitting down the back, relaxing at the time.... hmmmm, or maybe not!
- No, I am not scared of talking to "the stars." Some language barriers exist, yes, but we all are still normal people.

Lastly - What goes on in the peloton stays there...... Sorry!

I do, however, have more sponsors, so these little gift packs I am hooking up are getting bigger and bigger. Some of the friends at www.uswcdp.org, which stands for US Women's Cycling Development Program, have thrown in 12 Time caps for lucky winners. Pretty cool hey. So now we're up there: Caps, Socks, T-shirts, giddy up, I say! Look at all the great people out there looking to help our sport. Why is cycling in a bad state? It's not. We all still love riding our bikes, no matter what is going on. This goes for Pros, Amateurs, Weekend warriors, to emerging young riders.

Can you tell I'm tired??

Hit up the email, I'm loving the attention. I dream of being known more for using my brain than riding a bike!