Amgen Tour Daily Diary 

Iwoke up this morning feeling good and looking forward to this race. I had missed it last year, but had heard a lot of good things about it.

Because it was a midday start, we grabbed some breakfast and then some of the guys went for a quick spin. I chose to relax instead because I was going to be the first of our eight riders to start the prologue.

It’s interesting when you start one of the biggest races of the year on a bike you’ve only been able to test out for 15 minutes riding around a parking lot. But my new Fuji time-trial bike felt good when my teammate Heath Blackgrove and I went up to take a look at the big climb to Coit Tower. We gave each other some pointers on how to tackle it, then went back to the Toyota-United team bus to get a real good warm-up in.

Riding up to the starthouse was exhilarating. There was a huge crowd up there. The announcer, Dave Towle, is one of my good friends so he was really pumping up the crowd. As I rolled up to the start house, one of my former teammates, Juan Jose Haedo, started right in front of me, so I got to catch up with him. I’m really happy for him to be racing over in Europe in the Pro Tour.

The race today was pretty much a lung burner from the get-go. There’s no easy way to do it, either. Even when you’re having your best day, it hurts to do a super-hard effort. I felt like I really suffered. When I finished, I was in the top 10, but I knew it wouldn’t last. But the wind did seem to be better for the early starters.

Coming off of a little sickness from training camp, I wasn’t sure where my fitness or form was because I haven’t gotten a lot of training in because of the weather in Colorado. But Monday is going to be a different day and we’ll see how that goes.

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.

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