Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

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

The Rory Sutherland Tour of Missouri diary

Rory Sutherland is back again – the 26 year-old Australian from Canberra is reporting from the 2008 Tour of Missouri for Cyclingnews, following on from his incredibly popular Tour of California and Tour de Georgia diaries. The 2004 Australian Under-23 National Champion will keep readers up to date every day on his and Team Health Net's progress. (For more read his 2008 diaries.)

Stage 2 Clinton - Springfield 202km & Stage 3 Branson Time Trial 30kms

This will be a condensed diary entry for stages two and three for the Tour of Missouri. Reasons behind this include: fatigue, transfers, 200 kilometers of racing, and just general lack of motivation. I know, I know, very lame reasons, but it is what it is.

The murmurs around the peloton and press have been a little too much of late to be honest. If I hear another rumor, I'm seriously considering shooting myself! Come on people; let's try one thing. How about we get the facts straight before we actually make statements! It has been a very 'silly season' with retired riders apparently racing again, teams stopping, riders changing teams, new teams starting.... I'm over it! But, unfortunately it's part of the game, and part of this time of year.

Back to the racing. Stage two was long and fairly uneventful until 15 kilometers to go. Somehow Roman, Frank and myself managed to puncture at the same time. Great timing really, as the lead-outs were just starting to speed up, and getting back to the peloton was a little less than a leisurely roll. I don't think I've hurt as much as I did in those 15 kilometers. It was a good lesson in speed pacing behind team car(s) while weaving the roads at 60+ km/hr, dodging the remnants of a crash in the bunch with my eyes closed, and also through facial gestures (me grimacing) to the drivers of the team cars just how fast they needed to go. Example: the more teeth you see in your rear vision mirror, the more on the limit I really am. Ouch. Tim enjoyed looking round near the finish and seeing my bright red face gasping for air while he laughed away on the wheel. Thanks roommate!

Stage three was the time trial. Yet another day of reaching my limits, but I like time trials because everything is up to me. I had a good day, nothing exceptionally special, but good enough and I'm content. I like coming within 30 seconds of some of the best time trialists in the world. It gives me something to strive towards and means that I have more goals and wants. My mistake of the day (if you can call it a mistake) was enjoying the cheers along the road. Off I go, feeling pretty good, catching my minute man, hearing the fans and marshals cheering. They were actually yelling "Go Rory" today and I was psyched, though I did wonder why they always yelled it once I had gone by, or just before I got to them. Then I realized that they were all holding start lists and knew exactly which riders were coming through, hence knowing all the riders names..... Bubble burst!

Tomorrow we are off to another town in Missouri. I guess that's how it all works. We see very little of the towns we visit. We go in, eat, sleep and go again. That is bike racing.

The night is going to close out with me watching Tim watch the Red Sox baseball on TV. Sounds weird, I know, but seriously, it is pretty funny to see how into the game this Massachusetts native is. Apparently this is what they are all like, but I guess I'll have to trek east sometime to find out!

Rory Sutherland