Friday, July 6, 2012

6 down, 2 to go!

We weren't so sure what to expect for today's stage. On paper, it should come down to a sprint, and we should have help from sprinter's teams, but you can never be sure. The start was again incredibly difficult. It was anything but flat as the profile showed. After around 30km of super hard racing, we let a big group roll. It was a big group, but we were happy because Laurent was in there, but unfortunately so was a guy who was only 2:39 on gc. We immediately had to start riding it back. Just before the base of the first KOM of the day (16km @ 4%) we rolled them in. Then a few attacks went again, but everyone was dead at that point, and a small group was able to get away. This time we were happy with it.

After a small respite and regathering, we started to ride a light tempo. For some reason, a few other teams decided they wanted to ride harder though, the race basically continued. The tactics were honestly some of the silliest I've ever seen. We rode with the break at 1:30-2:00 minutes for quite awhile, then we actually had all but caught them at the feedzone, which would have been really dumb because the chaos would have restarted. For whatever reason though, everyone took the feed, then sat up, took a nature break, and the gap went back out to 4 minutes. Funny thing was that we were so close to the break that they sat up, and some guys just came back to the field. The rest carried on again though. Silliness.

From there, the field rode at a fairly normal pace, but again they closed the gap down super quick, so we slowed again, and basically just tried to let the break dangle until it was "time". The final circuit wasn't easy either given the strong winds that had developed, as well as some short but difficult climbs. The break was rolled in about 15km from the finish, so we took control of the field to try and keep things in check. As we approached the last 5km things heated up of course, but we finished all good keeping Jakob in yellow.

Tomorrow is the pivotal TT. It will be the final test for Jakob. He has a good lead going in but nothing is certain of course. If he does the normal, he should be able to defend. Then it is on to Vienna on Sunday. We're also hoping for Markel to do a good result in the TT tomorrow. It is a great course for him, he's done well here before, and he's motivated. Wish us luck!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Viel Gluck!!!