Tuesday, 7 May 2013



Length -144km
Climbing - 2618Metres
Weather - 25 degrees with some very light rain.  Mainly cloudy
Stage Place - 11th
Overall Place - 10th


Another good day on the bike was had.  We set off at 9am again and we had quite the train going.  After the first little bump the 17 we started with was down to five.  The usual four, Marco, Adam, Michael, myself and a new addition Farnie.  We took turns pacing on the first roads and tracks.
All fairly uneventful,  we caught Rodrigo at maybe 25km again and he was going ok.  The six of us were taking turns and we were catching various groups every 5-10 km.  it started getting a little bit unmanageable and there must have been 10 or 15 of us at one point.  We skipped past the first water point at 45km or so today which become a bit critical for us all.

We caught Danny at maybe 65km and he joined us.  A bump somewhere had got rid of the hangers on and back to just the five of us with Rodrigo dropping somewhere too.  All uneventful again.  Marco dropped the bike into the back of one of us when I took a wrong turn and we all braked to turn back.  No damage done fortunately.

At maybe 80km must of us had run out of water.  Michiel had downed three litres and I'd finished the one and half litres in my camel bak and only had a bottle left.  A little bit of sharing went on as the water point was at 105km.  Adam dropped somewhere here.  He looked knackered and no water was taking its tool.  Without the water you can't eat to refuel.  I struggled through this bit too.

We made the water stop together and caught Francisco from an early bunch.  He's ahead of me on GC and lost time yesterday.  Marco filled up and took off.  Marco had too as we are too slow in the climbs for him.  The last 40km was basically all up hill.  The rest of us peeled out and basically Danny took off.  He was super strong.  I was with them for 5-10 km and I too was out the back.  There's a bastard of a climb that's only 500 meters long but its 25-30% and has a stream at the bottom.  It's a slog.  I could see them on it and with calves burning pushing the bike I tried to catch.  I found out later that Marco apparently climbed the hill.  ( legend !!!)

It didn't catch the group  I caught Pat somewhere after this pumping up a flat tyre.  His third of the day he told me later and he had the mech hanger fall off as well.  Managed to reattach using the quick release lever.  I was now in fast cruise mode to the finish.  I caught strong man Malcolm again on a piece of Tarmac.  He jumped on my tail and on a rough road I put the power down.  I caught and passed Peter and Diaana and Peter dropped of the back.  He caught me again on a small hill.  We rode together for a bit and there was a confusing part in a village where it looked like we were on the wrong track.  He turned one way and I stayed straight.  I yelled and said I was right.  Waited a bit and got impatient so started the turbos again.

I hit a gate not long after and I knew that once I'd closed it I wouldn't see him again.  It was solo to the finish from here 15 km out.  Steep nasty little climb into the village through the castle walls on rough roman roads again.  Didn't enjoy it as much this year.  

So not a bad day.  Lost some time to some and gained on others.  Long stage tomorrow but its just long.  There's only four more days and the body seems to be holding up well.  No major complaints with the body is a good sign.  We shall see tomorrow who pushed too hard today and who recovers well again.  Going to be hard to stay in tenth !!!

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