Yet another spectacular day at the giro. Sure we had a little bit of snow falling in the galibier but it had nothing on what the tre cime turned on for the final 10km. It was absolutely dumping down and was that heavy that you needed windscreen wipers on your sunnies as no sooner had you wiped away the snow flakes you were blacked out again! For me the most incredible part about today was the fact that there was still the same amount of fans on the side of the rd you would expect on a sunny day. From a personal perspective the moment I witnessed the fans still as passionate in there support as ever I realized in no way could we complain about the conditions. Atleast we could ride the bike to keep warm! Infact it was a bucket load nicer than the wet cold days we have endured so really give me snow over rain anyday! In the end vincenso did what he has done all year and showed a controlled complete and utter classy clean pair of heals to the rest of the field demonstrating once again why he is the rightfull leader of the 2013 giro d'italia.
On a team and personal front the cannondale train had a very simple objective today, Damiano Caruso. After his awesome performance in the team TT we rightly had high hopes for him in the final mt stage. All went to plan and a small group went clear that would be the days breakaway and we just sat tight and waited for the orders from the team car. Esquatel decided to control the field so that suited us just fine. With around 50km to go a crucial decent leading into the final climb began and we swarmed to the front and took control for the run into the final climb. Down we plunged and onto the flat section before we hit the 20km to go marker and start of the final climb. After a quiet boring day really in the bunch was great to get some adrenaline pumping from ripping out some turns on the front. Into the town thanks to a combination of green locomotive longo borgini, some wet coobled corners and the acceleration of our rock spider salerno as we hit the climb, there was only 8 riders in the front group, 4 of us, cadel, vincenso, and a couple of others. As I sat up after doing one last pull at the base of the climb I drifted back through the riders but it was an absolute bomb show back there. There we're holes in the group absolutely everywhere so that was pretty funny and satisfying to see as I retreated to the gentle pace of the grupetto. Once salerno ran out of steam so did the intensity at the front and the lead group eventually regrouped but was certainly good to soften everyone up a little for caruso. We had all done this climb many times during our training camps at san pellegrino so was nice to have a little local knowledge and put it to the test. As I have said many times during this race, its always very easy to see which teams have done the extra yards in research on certain days and today it was our turn.
In the end Caruso was a fine 8th again showing he was truly one of the strongest riders at this years giro. I huffed and coughed my way to the finish line. Certainly lungs legs and body feeling the effects of racing 3 weeks with bronchitis, has certainly been quite a test on many fronts, not least the lack of ability to do one of lifes most simple things, breath!
On another note I can proudly announce that I felt much better physically today after yesterdays day off so I am pretty sure that my rest day routine refinement has been a success and I finally have a pretty good process worked out. Just could never have anticipated how much I still had to learn about this sport but I am pretty sure that this giro has thrown more than a few spanners at me but rather the entire tool box.
Tomorrow should be a sprint finish so we are excited about a hard day of laying the foundations for elia to go toe to toe with the other fast men. Will be an interesting battle as I am sure after a few climbs in the sprinters legs a few surprizes will no doubt occur in the bunch gallop!
210km 5hrs 45min
Average power 235
Average heart rate 131
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