UNHAIS DA SERRA > MONFORTINHO
Climbing - 1739 m
Weather - max 34c, hot and very windy
Stage Place - officially 3rd, but really 2nd equal
Overall Place - 4th
Wow what a day, I knew what I had to do today, stay with Luis on the first climb. Mission acomplished which was helped by him making a small navigation error right at the top. As usual I was 50 metres behind him. After this we rode together till we caught Danny, Edgar and Edwardo (no idea how to spell this!!!)
The five of us worked together and fairly evenly shared the pace. Was a big wind which helped us all to conserve energy. Luis said he wasn't feeling 100% but hey we all have bad days. I'm not quite sure where but on a Tarmac climb, Luis and I rode away from them. We eased up to let them rejoin as it was too far to go on our own with a big wind. I wasn't sure how much help Luis would be just on our own at it was too early. The next climb a few kilometres away decided it.
A steep dirt track and at the top the three of them were no where to be seen. We eased up a bit and got stuck behind a tractor with a load of logs for approx thirty seconds. We yelled and screamed for ages waiting for a chance to pass. Danny and co still hadn't arrived so it was time to push on.
We caught various individuals all on there own in the next hour or so. I put the hammer down with Luis in tow and pushed the pace on the climbs. Luis helped in the wind and we made good time. Luis and I knew we needed to catch Peter who gets a 20 min head start each day.
In the distance was a very historic town of Monsanto. Its beautiful. The coolest thing is there's a steep rough roman track all the way to the top. Love a challenge and aside from loosing traction at the bottem and having to walk 10 metres it was awesome. I really pushed the pace up here and just enjoyed it. We caught Peter walking with his bike and sailed straight past.
The decent was not so cool. Round a corner and past Agnelo one of the TP photographers and I lost the front wheel. Not so cool. No real damage done but important not to crash if you want to finish !!! This photo is seconds before I crashed.
We stopped for water at the bottem and pushed on. We spied Kate in the distance on her bike. Must have taken us a good 10km to get to her though. We pushed on for the last fifteen kms and a few kms from the end agreed to cross together. It's always a relief when you spot the village in the distance and know your nearly done.
Tomorrow will be another awesome day !!!
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