Friday, March 14, 2014

It Runs in the Room

Yesterday it was my turn in the break and today it was my roommates turn. After a fast and furious 1.5 hours everyone was so tired that it was simply left to those who had anything in their legs and motivation. 10 guys finally established the break and we had Gregory. There was a brief respite for some refueling and nature breaks, but then it was onto the gas again. Sky rode a solid tempo for the entire day and received help from Garmin and Astana as the finale approached. All things considered it seemed less stressful today than any of the first stages. Our team rode well to keep Bob and Frank protected until the crucial moments. The most important of those was the category 1 climb (8.2kms at 5.9%) at 200km into the race, whose first 2km were actually the finishing climb. Those 2km were incredibly tough, too. There were many ramps at 15%+. The rest of the climb after those initial 2km was regular and not nearly as difficult. After the summit it was a tricky, fast descent and again onto those steep 2km. Is everyone thoroughly confused? I feel like I'm not explaining this very well! There was a finishing circuit that contained this 8.2km climb and the first 2km of that 8.2km climb were the finishing climb of the day. In other words, we did those 2km twice, crossing the finish once before we actually finished. Clear?!?!

So about the race and how the crucial climb went. We hit the climb a little too far back but were able to fight through the crowd to enter the front group. At the beginning we had Andy, Frank, Bob, and me in the group. I rode to keep Frank and Bob in the front and protected. I fell off the pace a little but was able to hang onto the back to the top. Frank put in a good attack, but the climb wasn't steep enough for him to establish a good gap. When we hit the summit the group was down to ~35 riders. I recovered as best I could and followed an attack or two, but the descent was too fast and twisty for much to take place. As the descent finished we came onto a bigger road and out of the turn I had lost the wheel a little bit. I wasn't able to close the gap and then we hit a little roller and I couldn't follow the others as they passed me. My legs had no more go. I think I had used up that acceleration somewhere between covering moves in the beginning or the attack in the final. In any case I'm happy that I felt strong today after the effort from yesterday. Now I just need to keep the strength up going into these last two stages! They won't be cake by any means. We'll have to see if we can make anything happen. Thanks for checking in.

1 comment:

KyleJ said...

Good job today on the last stage! Looked like you were working pretty hard!
It was fun to watch!!