Today was the longest stage of the race at 228km + 10km neutral. Life was not easy for us at the start with everyone wanting to be in the breakaway because they knew there was a high probability we would let it go to the finish if there was not anyone of danger in there. We did everything to watch the moves with caution to not let anyone of any threat go. It took 1.5hrs for the break to finally materialize. It looked several times like something would roll, but then somebody else would attack, and the frenzy would continue. The start today might have actually been/felt harder than yesterday! It was funny to watch the energy drain from the attacks as the war waged on. People's legs were/are definitely tired.
Once the break went, and we established no one of danger was there, we let the gap grow because we have/had no interest in anything other than keeping yellow. The break went to the final, but that didn't stop our group from coming in guns a blazing. I think in the last 10-15km, the field took almost 3 minutes out of the break. I was a little bit poor positioned and got cut off by some guys sitting up when we hit the final climb, so I was pretty much finished at that point. It was disappointing for me not to be able to help set tempo on the final climb, but I feel positive about my efforts in the beginning, and the team as a whole is doing great.
Tomorrow will be another testing start, but hopefully a break will roll a bit easier. Then following the climbs in the middle, a sprinter's team or two should come help us bring it back for a sprint. We'll have to see. It's time to get some rest before what should be our last test tomorrow.