This is my world of cycling and just a fun way for me to share my experiences, thoughts and joy I have for cycling. Thanks for visiting Cycle Jabber and good luck in your training! Dirk Friel

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Phil Zajicek Win's Final Stage of Gila Tour ahead of Lance and Levi

(See a short Podium video here)

I had one of my biggest thrills as a coach today as Phil Zajicek beat Lance and Levi in the final stage of the Tour of the Gila. I've been working with Phil since the fall of '08 and it has been a rough year so far, but today made it all worth while for sure.

Don't get me wrong. Heck I like Lance and Levi and have even worked with Levi (and his amazing coach Max Testa) to help him set up his TrainingPeaks charts (see story about Levi and Scott Nydam here). But when you work with a guy closely on a daily basis you'd like to see him beat the world's best. It is a rare occassion that it happens so today was special for sure.

Phil has had a rough year so far. It started out with him breaking his wrist in the Tour of CA then he crashed hard again at the San Dimas stage race just prior to Redlands. Since Redlands Phil has been trying to stay focused and train hard in the mountains around Boulder. Things seemed to turn around a few weeks ago when Phil won the Air Force Academy road race in CO Springs. He then went on to finish 2nd overall in La Vuelta de Bisbee, where he won the time trial.

The Tour of the Gila didn't start out amazing as he finished @13th in stage 1 at the top of the Mogollon climb. But things got back on track with an incredible TT result. Phil finished 4th only 13 seconds behind Lance which moved him up to 5th overall.

Phil surfed the crit and luckily played it safe (way too many crashes it sounds like in the final laps). When I spoke to Phil after the crit he was fired up and more than ready to rock out on the Gila Monster climb (the main Cat 1 climb in the final stage).

Things went to plan and he came through with flying colors. Way to go Phil! He finished 3rd overall with only a couple of the world's best riders on the higher steps.

Phil's PMC was -2 TSB heading into the Gila with a CTL of over 120. He had been hitting top-10 CP5 and CP20 values in the last few weeks as well which is always a great sign.

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posted by Dirk at 6:30 PM | 2 comments