Amgen Tour Daily Diary 

It was all about pressure and expectations today. Sitting at breakfast, I was asking myself how we were going to win Sunday’s race. There are some really fast guys at this year’s Tour. But then I thought about my own teammates Henk Vogels and Ivan Dominguez and how they can be the fastest guys in America on any given day.

At the team meeting, everyone was super-focused on getting those two guys to the finish line with them using the least amount of energy. There wasn’t one guy on our team during the 77.5-mile race who wasn’t going to sit out in the wind to protect Henk or Ivan for two or three minutes at a time.

My job was to deliver those two guys to the front of the pack in the final three miles. It’s a lot easier said than done. When you’re charging down the final straight at 40 miles an hour, with guys banging handlebars and bodies bumping each other, it’s pretty scary. But I also had a front-row seat to see Ivan’s hands go up for the win.

As soon as I heard the announcer confirm that Ivan won, I started screaming — which made the guys riding around me look at me kind of strangely. I immediately caught up to Ivan and gave him a huge hug.

Back at the team hotel, we did a champagne toast to our big win. We have a good feeling that the victory will give us great momentum for the rest of the year.

Chris Wherry is a member of the Toyota-United team and lives in Durango, Colo. In his 10th year of pro cycling, he won the 2005 U.S. Pro road championship.

For the latest news and features about the race, be sure to check our special Amgen Tour of California page.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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