Wednesday, 14 May 2014


5th STAGE / 14 MAY
144 Kms
Climbing - 2186 m

Weather - 36c bloody hot
Stage Place - 4th
Overall Place - 4th or maybe even 3rd !!!

Wow what a day.  You knew it was going to be hot even before it was.  The view from the hotel window about 7am

The plan today was to take it easy until the last big water point at 105km and then push.  The stage is long and the first part fairly easy,  the last 30km however has a sting in the tail and you are always heading up.

Best made plans don't always work.  We lost Jose of the front somewhere near 10km on a smaller hill.  The Energizer bunny is what I've started calling him.  It was just myself, Aarron the Aussie, and Luis left.  We pused on and a few kilometres later Jose was stopped for a wee on the side of the track.  We linked up and Jose put the hammer down.

Big tail wind, but rolling fire roads,  it was hang on or be gone.  We flew past Danny, Edward and co like they were standing still.  We lost Aaron over the rolling hills here somewhere.  We did a quick splash and dash for water at 35km mark and the hammer went down again.  Jose the machine just sat on the front and eased up just a bit on some of the smaller climbs.  The talk was that we could catch Kate and put some big time on her today.  You also know your going hard when you reach for the first Gel at 20km.

At close on 75km or so Jose left us again.  We had just averaged over 31km/h for 2.5 hours on MTB trails !!!  Myself and Luis sat up for a bit of a breather.  Some where Luis had taken a knock to his calf from his pedal and was staying he could not feel his foot.  We hit a check point and stop sign at approx 85km.  I was just about to go when Luis said "water, water".  Stopping for me was not really in the plan for me and I knew I had enough till 105km.  

Its important to ride your own race and I left him to it.  Put the head down and pushed on not to hard in case he came back to me.  What followed was once again a lonely ride.  Just before the water stop I saw Jose just ahead of me.  I was a bit gob smacked, race leader still in sight !  I stopped at the water point and he did not so, I guess he'd just stopped elsewhere.

I took my time at the water point and filled up, lubed the bike, gels out of the back pack and still no one came.  From this point last year Danny took huge chunks of time out of me.  Wasn't going to let it happen this year.  I pushed on through the rolling terrain.  Planned where to take my gels to space them out and get me home.  I caught two guys on the climb, I mean walk if the day.  One of them was Peter the Belgian who is a danger for me on GC since he is strong and gets a lot of time on me each day.  The climb was 500 metres straight up at 25-30%.  The garmin was measuring 36c !!!

I rode the top of the climb and off into the hot day,  I was guessing I was 4th on the road and still hadn't passed Raffelle.  Caught him 10km later and straight past.  The last 15km felt like an eternity,  not much energy and no more Gels.  The last two km were steep and hot and rough cobbles.  Delight to see the finish line and I think my time was almost under the course record !!!

Turns out I was 4th for the stage, and Jose had only caught Kate in the last 500 metres.  She must have had some stage today.  Another Belgian Eric was third after a strong ride.  He was penalised 30 mins yesterday for missing 700 metres of recording on his Garmin.  Luis did not come in for quite some time and he does not look good.  Hobbling around.

Not sure where I am on GC just yet, but it could be close with myself and Luis.  

Tomorrow is the big day, 167km and it forecast to be even hotter.  Fingers and toes crossed all goes well.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, well done hows the body holding up? You might see me there one day, need to line up a few sponsors to help pay for it.
    Kia Kaha,

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