Saturday, March 29, 2014

Corsican Double Day

It was a double day here in/on Corsica. We were up early for the 89km morning stage and rolling out to race at 9:15. That's earlier than I go training most days! It was pretty tense due to the wind and the sections of narrow, twisty, up/down roads that we encountered. We decided before the start that our best plan of attack was to actually help control things. We went to the front immediately and helped control the race. The breakaway went quickly and we settled in to the roller coaster of a ride as best as we could. One critical point was the small climb about 45km into the stage. We were in good position going into the climb, but more importantly we had good position over the top. The road on top including the descent was narrow and twisty and has been the site of a split in the group in the past. AG2R decided to attack this section of the course actually and I am very happy that I was top 10 at that point. I imagine that it was a bit chaotic in the back and there was indeed a split. There was a momentary push to maintain the split, but there was ultimately a regrouping. The stage finished in a bunch sprint and I simply tried to stay toward the front to avoid trouble and give myself a later tt start time.

After a few hours of rest, it was time to begin tt preparation. The course was a short 7km, but there was plenty of pain to be had! It started with a solid 1.5km of climbing, followed by a tricky descent, and the last 4km of flatter road. Immediately from the start house it was full throttle up the climb, then catching my breath a little on the descent before putting as much power into the pedals as I could for the last part. The hardest section was probably the last km because it was a slow drag at 2-3% and you could see the line the whole way. That part hurt a bit! In the end I had a pretty solid result and I felt strong, so I'm really happy with how my fitness seems to progressing.

The team had some good results today too. Bob took 3rd in the tt and is now 3rd overall, only 8 seconds down. He's got a good chance of finishing high in the overall with a good climb tomorrow. Frank, who is our gc leader, kept himself within striking distance considering tomorrow's final climb. It is a tough stage and there will surely be some fireworks. We have a strong and motivated team, so we're expecting to do something good. It will be fun to hopefully animate the race. Cheers!


KyleJ said...

Nice work on the climb today! You were dropping folks like flies!!

Anonymous said...

That was a fun one to watch! Saw flickers of ToC in 2011 as you whittled down the field. Looks like you have a good season ahead.