Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mountains in Hainan

Today was the queen stage of the Tour of Hainan with three good climbs, the final summit only 12km from the finish, all downhill. We held our cards tight and did our best to be players on the final climb. There was a small flurry of attacks as the road turned upwards and I just followed the wheels. The group shrank pretty quickly and a couple guys went clear with a good distance to the top. I continued to follow the wheels, hoping to make a late move toward the top and maybe bridge across as we could still see the guys only 10-15 seconds in front of us. I made a costly miscalculation in my head about the race kilometer the top was at though and was surprised to see the 1km to the top sign when I thought we still had 3km to go. I was still following and had missed a late move just before that, wanting to wait just a little longer. So at the top I made a small dig and dropped a few guys from the group, but it was too late. We raced down the descent and had a fairly big regrouping by the bottom and ended up with a small field sprint for 2nd/3rd place as one/two guys from the moves on the climb stayed away. Our team was super strong with 4 of us in there, but we unfortunately missed the win. I think overall though, we're happy as a team. We didn't have a "big" team here on paper, but we have raced hard and will come away with 2 guys top 10 (3 in top 15; would be 4 if I hadn't gotten the time gap on stage 1), 2nd in the team gc, and Fabio with 4th in the points jersey (I think). That isn't too bad for 5 guys who usually are normally just domestiques!

One day left tomorrow, almost guaranteed another sprint, but there are a few time bonuses and KOMs available, so depending on how fiesty I feel, I may try something. I'm not sure where I stand in the KOM points, but with a few points tomorrow, I might be able to land in the payout, so a little extra dough is always nice. And for the overall, I believe I'm 2 seconds out of top 20, which is how deep they pay, so again if I'm able to snag some bonus seconds, I could add a little more to our prize money payout. We'll see how I feel tomorrow!

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