Another sunny, warm day completed here in Portugal, and again it was a day of deceptive difficulty. Not sure what it was today, but by the end, the effort was definitely registering pain in the legs. With no real mountains, we again did around 2500m of climbing, which definitely wears on you! It was a group finish again with minimal mix up in the gc. We had an unfortunate crash for Jan Bakelants in the final 10-15km, but he did a super effort to come back and contest the sprint. I was incredibly impressed after I saw him crash at 60kmh. He was reaching for a gel when he hit one of those small road reflectors that mark the lanes. It threw his front wheel/bike and there was no way for him to control it. Remarkably he was almost unscathed.
Today was pretty status quo for me. I kept it as easy as possible to save energy for tomorrow's pivotal stage. I hung around Kloeden trying to soak in the knowledge and experience! My legs were starting to feel ok toward the finish today, so hopefully that will carry into tomorrow, and I can do my part to help the team execute the plan. With any luck, we'll be in yellow after tomorrow! Tune into Eurosport online for the live feed!