Saturday, June 8, 2013

Alpe d'Huez

I think today was the queen stage of the 2013 Dauphine, so it was fitting that they incorporated the famous climb of Alp d'Huez. It was the first time I had ridden it, so I tried to enjoy it a little. Admittedly though, I was suffering quite a bit even though we were going relatively easy. I was active in the beginning of the stage trying to get into the breakaway, and there was moment when I thought I had it, but it wasn't to be. After my group was reeled back in, Laurent and Tony did a good job of getting themselves into the day's move of 16 guys. Sky controlled the peleton all day, never allowing the break to have more than about 5 minutes and letting the difficulty of the parcours simply take it out of everyone. Things got heated up in the last 40-50km as we approached the category 1 Col du Noyer, whose summit was a short 7km descent from the final 4km climb to the finish. When we hit the base of the Noyer, the field pretty well exploded. I followed the front group for the first 6km, but then some attacks began and I came unhitched. Haimar stayed in close contact to the front group and looked strong, but a flat tire on the descent cost him precious time. Haimar was not the only one with bad luck today. Ben Hermans didn't really enjoy his birthday today because he crashed on a fast descent, lost a good bit of skin, and was unable to continue the race. He escaped any serious injury, but will certainly be sore for a few days.

Tomorrow is the final stage of the Dauphine. It is another summit finish, so another chance for the climbers. It will be interesting to see how it plays out because many guys are far down on gc, so Sky could let a breakaway go to the line. We have nothing to protect anymore, so I think we will be all in for the breakaway. I would like to redeem my performance of today by either getting in the break or going for something in the end. I really hope I have good legs tomorrow, and we'll have to see how it plays out. It would be great, too, if we got lucky to have one more day of good weather; no idea the forecast though! Good night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great ride on a knarly parcours, Sorry to hear of Ben Hermans crash, very unfortunate indeed. Hope legs are feeling it Sunday, we will be watching with great anticipation.