Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stage 5 TDU

The famous willunga stage greeted the bunch for stage 5. The stage was made up of 2 40km circuits and 2 26km circuits with the 4km climb completed on the latter shorter circuits. I had targeted today as my best opportunity to be at the pointy end of the race and all seemed to be looking good on the climb. With a block headwind on the climb i canned my idea to attack on the climb and instead ensure i was in the front group group. A man with alot more courage than me, ritchie porte did attack with another of our young super stars jack bobridge and that quickly put pressure on the main field. Simmon Gerrans drove our group and at the top there was the two leaders plus one radio shack boy in toe and our group of about 10 riders including matt goss,and cam meyer about 100m behind. I was sitting pretty and getting ready for the mad dash to line but when we hit the flat and micheal rogers lit it up i was giving 100% percent simply to hold the wheel, being a 3 time world time trial champion means not only is he one of the best in the world on the bike but he can accelerate like a motorbike. Suffering to hold on i realised my team leader Simone Ponzi had lost contact with our group and was dangling 50m behind, as per my role for the day i sat up and waited for him and started to ride him accross but we were then caught by the lotto train which rawed passed. I just got onto the back of that group breathed up on the decent then started riding with them to get my man back into the front group. With 1 km to we were within a few seconds and i gave it one last big pull and swung off for my teammate to jump across, unfortunately only alan davis was on my wheel at this point and he is from astana and was the only one to enter the front group and my teammate finished another 7seconds back so was a little dissapointing. I could not have ridden any harder and assumed he would get back on but things dont always go to plan. I did have a good think about how i started to suffer all of a sudden after the climb which would normally be the hard part and realised that firstly the like of mick rogers, simon gerrans, matt goss and cameron meyer are at a much higher level than me but also i had not had to suffer like that since my last major race in august last year. I have neglected my motor pacing and critirium racing and cosequently got really found out today not only trying to hold micks wheel but also chasing the group down, at the moment i am still a few gears short of where i wanted to be so will have to get my concrete boots on and harden up a bit and get myself ready for the european season kicking off in febuary. So dissapointed the team could not get a result today but did what i could do and was pretty trashed by the finish line, i have learnt alot this week and it sure is nice to be up toward the front of the bunch again so cant wait for the willunga stage in 2011.

Circuit tommorow in adelaide so great opportunity to get in some good intensity again and finish off a great week in adelaide

cjw