Friday, 16 May 2014

Trans Portugal, DAY7, ÉVORA - ALBERNOA

7th STAGE / 16 MAY
102 Kms
Climbing - 812 m

Weather - max 32c but actually not to hot and even a mild spot of rain
Stage Place - 6th equal
Overall Place - 3rd I think (just)

Horrible day...set off with the pack at 11am for a fast and furious ride into the wind...

Jose set the pace on the front and I helped where I could.  Luis was really struggling today.  We caught Danny's group after less than 15km.  That's how fast we were going.  Luis asked me if I was staying with Danny.  My aim was to get to Peter and the best way was to push on regardless of who was in the group.

The pace was high and it was obvious that Luis was having an off day.  Jose went back to get him once or twice and he was dropping on the rough fire roads with any slight incline.  It's always tough on this type of road and so easy to drop the wheel in front and you are gone.  Myself and Jose had the discussion that we couldn't wait all day.  Jose wanted to win the stage and I needed to get Peter to keep my GC place.

Jose attacked us with a helper at approx 40km.  The helper went, Jose overtook him and then the helper left the gap.  I was to slow to jump onto Jose and the 10 metre gap became 20.  We pegged it at about 50-100 metes for the next 2-3 km.  By 50km he was out of sight.

There was now four of us (Danny, Aarron, Eduardo and me) and we basically worked hard all day together.  I think we averaged close on 28 or 29km/h for the whole stage.  We made no stops what so ever except for 3km from the end when Danny lost his rear wheel and had another crash.  30 seconds to a minute to check he was all right before we continued.  Huge chunk out of his knee and lots of blood.  We should get the time credited back to us anyway ( except Danny) and if not It's no big deal.  I'd rather make sure someone is OK than leaving them in a ditch.

We crossed in 6th place which is the lowest place so far this year.  Jose mucking around at the start probably cost him the stage win.  I dropped another 15 mins on Peter and he has closed rapidly on me in the last two days.  Hopefully the mountains tomorrow will help me but I will still have to chase like hell.

Think I will still be in third on GC but only just.

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