Monday, May 28, 2012

Tour of japan wrap up

Down town tokyo was the scene for the final instalment of the tour of japan for 2012. A nice flat circuit race of 112km with plenty of big corners made for the ideal way to wrap up a seriously hard week of racing. The big bunch gallop is always a favourite for the crowds and the teams containing the sprinters certainly ensured that this was how the days winner would be decided. Our team was keen for a sprint as our malaysian missile adiq ottman was keen to bang handle bars with the fast men but we knew his best chance would be if we could somehow get some fatigue into the sprinters pins before the final dash for the line. Like every other day our plan was simple, be aggressive and look for any opportunity to break the race up. This was difficult with no breakaway attempt getting more than 6 seconds ahead of the charging peleton but we still launched of the front at any opportunity as we had done all week. Should no breaks survive and the bunch be gruppo compacto then our big strong man will clarke was to put in a bid for glory in the final 5km. My role was to have him up the front and adiq behind will so I could protect him from the wind to maximise his attack and adiq could be behind to ensure nobody could follow his wheel easily. We don't really need to worry to much about this as will clarke is one of the most explosive guys in the peleton and you basically need a nitro booster to attempt to follow but none the less better to make sure he gets away. So to the front I took them as the pace built for the final 5km and out of the corner of my eye all I saw was a flash!! He attacked so hard I had no idea what team outfit he was wearing and he instantly had a good gap. Unfortunately for wilba, larry lactic acid set in once he was with 2km from the line and he was caught. With this happening, myself along with adiq now on my wheel moved our way to front and adiq chose a wheel he wanted to follow. He picked the right one as the wheel he chose ended up winning. Once he was dropped of I went full gas to the front of the bunch to keep the pace as high as possible for the final km and keep at bay any will clarke style attacks from the opposition and wait and see where the malaysian missile would end up. With 500m to go I got swamped by the sprinter and there leadouts and in a tight very scrappy sprint adiq ended up with a great 4th place which is a excellent result considering he is not a pure sprinter so all good all round.

As always with these flat chaotic circuits I am always happy to finish with all my skin still intact and results wise finished 7th on GC, bit of a nothing result really however following my allergy attack on mt fuji it certainly could have been a lot worse and it is always nicer to be more toward the front than back. Our climber chris butler wound up 5th on GC after his sterling ride up mt fuji and the result I am most happy about is the fact that we finished 2nd on team GC, by far the best performance this year as a collective group. Nice we finally have some momentum and now important to keep the ball rolling. So with the race all done and dusted and bikes packed up we headed out for a meal with our major sponsor champion system in down town tokyo. It was about a japanesey as you could get as we gouged ourselves with sushi, pork, fish, and steak and of course a few or there great beers.

A great way to wrap up a great week doing a great race with a great bunch of blokes.

Time to head home to tassie and do some serious training!! Super duper motivated!!

Cjw
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