Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lienz Finish

In 2010, I finished 4th on the stage into Lienz, and although it wasn't the same today, it was still a success. The stage started really hard out of the blocks. It was a few km flat, then a pretty serious false flat for about another 6km, leading directly into the 4km KOM. Long story short, it hurt! I was active in covering moves. I was in a big split of 20+ guys that rolled almost immediately, then as the road progressively tilted upward, the attacks became fewer but more serious. Eventually, a couple small groups were able to get away, get together, and make it away over the top. We were marking big groups and Movistar, who had a rider in there, but I didn't have another jump when the guy went, so small failure there; however, it was only 7 guys in the end, and we knew/hoped it would all come back together.

After a long descent, it was immediately into the second KOM of the day, a 15km 5.5% average ball of fun! We took it at a gentleman's pace thankfully because the break was gone, and everyone was pretty tired from the start. From the top, it was 60km of descent and valley until the final climb of the day. We kept Tommy out of trouble and planned to set Jakob up for an attack. Markel rode a killer pull into the beginning of the climb, smacked it with what he had left, then I took over. I drove it until Jakob attacked, then hung on to the tail of the dwindling group, then recovered enough to come back and pull the top of the climb. Jakob attacked twice, but it just wasn't happening today because he is still too dangerous, and the long, headwind valley from the summit to the finish was too long (25km).

Over the top, the group was maximum 30 I think. Tommy told me to go help pull because Jakob would have a good chance in the sprint. I helped pull for the next 15km, but the group behind came back, so I stopped at that point. I didn't lose all my fight though. I kept my nose in it for the sprint actually. I'm not sure what I was doing really! I lost my nerve in a couple of the turns on the run in, so maybe I could've finished a little higher, but I'll take 16th. Now if we only go out for the ice cream I remember from this place!

Tomorrow is going to be another big stage. We pass over the infamous Grossglockner at 2500m. It is a beast of a climb, and we could see some action happen. I hope my legs bounce back well, and I hope we have good weather! Thanks for checking in.


Scott K said...

Sounds very positive Matt! Keep your nose in there and get a good rest for tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are enjoying the experience. Rest up and put on some 4th of July fireworks in Austria!!

Anonymous said...

Try a 55-60 degree ice bath, rumor has it that will help legs feel like new the next day, or not you are the one who knows best. Great updates, keep them coming, can't wait to read them. Great ride today!!!! Keep your nose in there.

Anonymous said...

Doing great Matt... Hang in there... Look forward to reading on tomorrows ride!

Alex said...

Some 4th of July fireworks from RSNT today! Can't wait to read about it in your next post.