L'Etape du Tour Mondovelo 2008
"I prefer to descend like a mom in a buick"
Trek Omaha's Patrick Brennan
PB's training schedule was disrupted from the start due to an injury, and many had doubts about his finishing L'Etape. About 7500 riders completed the Tour, and for PB his goals were simple and clear:
2. Don't Flat
3. Don't Crash
PB did L'Etape in 2003 and had a rough encounter with the "sweeper bus", which steals riders dreams of finishing if they are lagging. PB played an adrenaline-filled game of cat and mouse with the sweeper bus this year. In the end, PB pulled ahead and passed the "broom wagon" for good at the base of the Col du Tourmalet, a Hors category mountain, a 17.5 km, 7.5% gradient climb. After that, PB knew the finish was his.
The challenge wasn't over though: descending off both mountains was the hardest and most stressful part of L'Etape for PB. The pain of freezing fingers and trying not to crash or lose control proved to demand every ounce of effort and strength. Climbing was much easier, so PB made up his time there. "I had 2 unfrozen fingers on the descent of the Tourmalet. You could easily do 40-50 miles + down the mountain, but I prefer to descend like a mom in a buick!"
Congratulations on accomplishing your L'Etape goals and thanks for sharing your story with us PB!
Check out more of PB's photos of the ride at http://www.maindruphoto.com/. He is rider #6444.