Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tour of japan stage 3

For the first time in the tour of japan we strung together 2 days of racing with stage 3 taking place on a 12km circuit which we completed 12 times. It included a 2km climb and was never flat so provided a great opportunity for the race to blow appart. Our plan was simple, make it as hard as we could and bank on our boys from champion system coming to the for in the closing laps of the race. Hard we made it, from lap 1 infact as the peleton immediately started to decimate. After just 3 laps there were only 40 riders left and after 5 laps only 30 riders. With 7 laps to go I decided that was still to many and attacked and soon the race was down to 13. With 2 laps to go the nippo team with 2 strong climbers forced the pace on the climb and blew that group appart, while initally I was able to follow I would lose contact and 4 were left in front with myself and another rider dangling behind at 30seconds. It stayed this way for the next lap and on the climb I was able to close a little but once the 4 hit the top for the final climb the 2 team mates took off again and put another 30seconds into us leaving me 1min behind and 2 other riders in the middle at 30seconds. The nippo team certainly have made a strong statement that they are here to dominate and in the past 2 days they have certainly put us all to the sword. After us it was a minute or so back to our breakaway companions and the damage continued further down with small groups all coming accross the line. On paper it looked like the 3rd hardest stage of the race so I am pretty fearfull of what the 2 hardest stages look like that we will tackle after another rest day tomorrow.

So was a day that we had a plan and stuck to it and in the end I did not quite have the endurance and explosive climbing power I expected. The next stage heads up mt fuji so I will be counting on my diesel style engine to help me out there. Certainly a backward step today but with so much hard km to come will keep forcing and fighting until we get to the finish in tokyo.

Will need a bucket of rice to refuel and a good long massage. After that I amy even have a japanese spa to get the muscles ready for the run to the finish!!

Cjw
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