Saturday, 4 May 2013

Trans Portugal, DAY 1, BRAGANÇA - FREIXO

 BRAGANÇA - FREIXO, 4th May 2013

Length -142km
Climbing - 3842Metres
Weather - Warm and sunny. 27 degrees
Stage Place - 12th
Overall Place - 12th

Lovely day today. We started at 9am on the dot and the pace was fairly fast to begin with. A big hill that was 5km long at 6km was enough to split our group up completely. Marco looked like he was out for a Sunday ride and 3-4 of us were sitting on his wheel. My heart rate was 10 beats higher than normal but I felt good. Decided to play safe and let them go as there's many more days to come.

I was on fire after this and caught and passed loads. I caught Rodrigo from the 7 min group somewhere near 30km and encouraged him to sit on my wheel but I turned back he was gone. Then Dan was next and he was not happy. His Garmin had flown off the bike never to be seen again. (Actually found many hours later by another group !!!) He now had no idea on the course route. The penalty for not turning in your GPS route is 30 min per KM I think. Fortunately he was recording with a second device. I rode with Dan yelling instructions about turns till the next check point. Dan stopped to ask what to do and they said just carry on. A faster guy came through after this and strong man Dan jumped with him instead of me.

I'd felt fine on my own but with Dan I felt like rubbish. My guts ached something and I was obviously just not comfortable. After this I eased up, ate a bit and tried just to keep the pace up. I rode from the 2nd checkpoint at maybe 60km completely on my own. Filled the camelbak at 93km and toughed it out. I think from maybe 70 km I passed two more people and that was it. A bit worried that I just wasn't travelling fast enough.

The last 20km dragged but at the finish I was 12th. I was only a few minutes behind Dan too. I think last year I was mid twenties so got to be happy with that. No dramas with the bike today so this is good too. Hopefully I've not given to much in the first day but guess we will find out tomorrow.

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