Today's fourth stage was the queen stage of this years Vuelta Pais Vasco. It has occurred to me that queen stage is almost certainly synonymous with painful stage, and today was no exception. I started the stage trying to cover the breakaways, and it was really painful because my legs were really blocked and tired from yesterday's efforts. Thankfully the break didn't take too long to go (only about 30 minutes), and I was able to eat and drink to try and save myself for the upcoming climbs.
When we hit the first categorized climb of the day, my legs had not gotten better, and I was certain that I was going to get dropped. I felt awful. Then the second climb of the day was another unnecessary suffer-fest for me. For whatever reason, I just couldn't get my body going today. The stage took us over the final climb twice. The first time we did a small deviation at the top to descend and take in another climb before returning to the final climb for the finish. The first time up the final climb I was again really suffering. I made it over the top, and in the next valley, I came back to the front with the team. Then on the next climb I felt spectacular! It was so weird. That is the funny thing about the body though! Sometimes things are going horrible and if you can just make it through, then all the sudden you are great.
On the final climb of the day, my job was done, so it was up to Chris and Kloden to do their job and finish. Today they delivered again and stayed on same time with the leader. Unless something crazy happens tomorrow, they will have a great opportunity to win the race on Saturday's sixth and final stage, the individual time trial. Both are strong time trialists, and it would be great to see one of them win. I hope to bring good news with my next post!