Thursday, June 15, 2006

GOOO Tinker!

I keep checking in on Tinker at the RAAM every day.

In reading some of the reports I saw a sweet tidbit about Tinker.

"Passing through TS #19 in La Veta, CO just 7 minutes behind Moonen was Tinker Juarez. A two time mountain bike Olympian, he climbed all three mountain passes in Colorado today in his big chainring. In fact I found out that he has not been out of his big chainring the entire way, but plans on using his small chainring in West Virginia. His crew chief Trevor Finch told me that Tinker has great eyes, and is still jumping railroad tracks. He doesn’t use sunscreen and is a terrific night rider. He rides better when he is tired. Then he has chosen the right event in RAAM which I call experiencing tiredness beyond belief. Tinker has accumulated 20 hours off bike time 1,102 miles into the race in Trinidad, CO. He has two bikes with aerobars, but doesn’t like them. He started the race with no chamois in his shorts, but started using them in Cortez, CO. Mountain bike world champion Ned Overend visited Tinker just before he left the TS in Durango. Ned told me that Tinker must be able to recover on the bike during RAAM.

Finch said that Tinker is very intuitive about his training. Today was the first day he’s dealt with the pain of yesterday. He never asks where the other riders are. 2005 RAAM finisher Jim Trout is on Tinker’s crew, and told me he would rather be a rider than a crew person. Trevor’s wife Jennifer is also on the Juarez crew. When I asked Tinker why he prefers always riding in his big chainring, he said, “It just feels right.” Raspy with a sore throat (most of the riders have this), Tinker said he needs a whole week to acclimate to the altitude, and he’s only been at altitude for 3 days now."

Ok big chainring so far. A mechanic was cleaning his bike and said there wasn't much grease on the small ring. Tinker said that's because I haven't been in it yet.

Whew!, and jumping railroad tracks. Yeah!

Cross your fingers for him. They are dropping hard. Last years champ dropped out with lung congestion. Kenny Souza has it too and is falling back.


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