Well I wasn't going to post today because of frustration and disappointment again, but I have gathered myself and will report on today. It was rainy at the start and then on/off all day. The race was fast at the start waiting for the break to get established. I approached the front and was about to go, but was a few seconds to late. The group split and we had Irizar in, so it was good. The group stayed away all day. The tempo was considerable today and pretty tiring. I did not feel super, but stuck with it. The course was relentless not ever allowing much if any time for recovery. I was feeling it. After taking in more lessons about bathroom break timing, descending, eating/drinking properly, etc. I arrived on the final ascent of the day to the finish.
Now I had not been looking forward to it all day as I felt tired, but somehow I felt a spark of energy with about 45km to go and I thought I might have something to go for. As a domestique to the team now I had a few duties to take care of as we approached the final 20km like taking extra clothing, getting final bottles, etc. I did this fine including giving Chris Horner my bike when he flatted. He had no problem getting back in with the field and then switched to his spare bike and I got mine back right before I reintegrated, although I had a hefty chase back to the field afterward, which was me wasting more energy than I already had in the day. I was feeling ok, but by the time the final climb arrived I was mid field and struggling to find my way to the front. I wanted to make it there and do one of those sweet team tempo jobs that you see in the tour destroy everyone, but I never made it. I sat up 7 or 8km from the finish and saved it for later in the week knowing we might have to defend the jersey.
Chris is now second on GC 4 seconds back and Jani is right there too, maybe 6 seconds, so we are still sitting good. Tomorrow is a long 200km with a lot of up and down, a few classified climbs. I am sure it will be hard though as everything around here is up and down and even the unclassified climbs can be more difficult than the classified ones. See ya.