Thursday, July 4, 2013

Long Austrian Stage

It was a quick 228km today, roughly 5hrs 20min. More importantly/impressive was the first 2hrs in which we covered almost 100km. Then after 4hrs we had done 180km, so we really didn't slow down too much. The stage was mostly uneventful, except at the most inopportune time: the finishing climb. The guys did a great job of helping get me into a good position through the last 10km of chaos before the base of the climb; however, I lost a bit of nerve/position just before the climb, so I had to fire one of my bullets to make up a little ground to the first group a the start of the climb. Once I made contact, it was a-ok. I mean, I was not nose-breathing, but I was with the lead group and following the moves, staying in contact. Then about 1.5km from the finish, a rider exploded like a 4th of July firework, and in the process, he swerved and ran me off the road. Then as I came back onto the road, a rider from behind hooked his bars into/under mine, so I had to come to a complete stop in order to untangle the mess. By the time I was able to get going again, the group was at least 50 meters ahead of me. It doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're on your limit and things are going full gas, it is a long way! I tried not to panic, so I just took a good rhythm to try and close the gap slowly, rather than make a huge effort, get to the group, and just explode. Thankfully George was in the group, and he waited for me and was able to help pace me back. I'm not sure if I ever really made full contact because just as I was coming back, the final attacks started going, and it was every man for himself. I fought all the way to the line, but I was definitely frustrated to have had the misfortune and lose valuable time. I did fall to 6th on GC now, but I'm really hoping I can still finish in the top 5, and if I can put together a really good TT on Saturday, maybe even get the podium. One day at a time though, so we have to get through tomorrow first. It should be relatively uneventful, so I'm hoping to conserve as much energy as possible. Only caveat will be how motivated everyone is for the breakaway again. Hopefully it won't take 2hrs like today again! Good night.


Anonymous said...

A rough go of it at the end today. Things will break your way tomorrow! Good luck on Saturday.

Scott K said...

Stay confident and strong. Sound like you are within good striking range. Good luck!