Burgos saved the most pain for the final day! The race concluded with what was the absolute queen stage of the event and in the end our captain Ivan Basso showed why he is firming as a big favourite for this years vuelta!!
The day started horribly for me, my teammate got tangled up in a bit of crash and his bike decided to fly into mine like a missile and I hit the deck! Bugger, first crash in europe this year and a good reminder of how quickly you can find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anyways need to be more attentive. It was certainly a good bingle as I destroyed everything from my jersey down to my shoes, lost skin from my pinky finger down to my heel bone so all can be greatfull for is that my head remained unscathed.
So on the deck but that was the least of my dramas. Unlike the first few days the breakaway was just not going quickly and the pace was on and I was flapping around in the follow cars trying to get myself back to the peleton. I learnt a few years ago that when you crash the first thing you do is get back on your bike and get back to the peleton as quickly as possible. Once back in the safety of the peleton and you have a chance to relax a little do you then check your bumbs and bruises and decide weather you need any medical attention from the race doctor in the car following the race. Today that moment did not come for about 50km and at which stage there were 3 groups on the road, fortunately I was in the front group which had formed on the first climb but the doctor was back behind the other groups. Fortunately Although I was in a fair amount of pain, enough that I felt so sick I wanted to through up a few times I decided I could clean myself as best as possible with some water and wait for the end of the stage for treatment. So did not need the doc anyways. The race finally had a break away and pace settled. I kind of wish it had not as it gave a chance for the adrenaline to wear off and feel my aching left side!! Anyways that's just racing. When you want it easy its hard! When you are happy with it being a hard tempo and small groups forming, the bunch decides to have a cease fire and you can feel average as quickly as you felt like 10men, just the funny little ups and downs you go through in a bike race.
Unfortunately an upset tummy and throwing up is not ideal for the energy system so I explained my situation to Ivan and he said I needed to stop or do as little as possible as it was not the day to destroy myself. You only have so many dig deep biscuits in the jar in one season and I don't need to waste them on a day like today when the vuelta is only 2 weeks away. The most important thing was nothing was broken and I just had to take it easy. So that what I did, just rolled along and when it got to the point I felt like vomiting again just backed it off and had a steady ride up the finish climb and ensure I got some climbing km's in the pins and did not push at all into the red zone unnecessarily. So all good in the end and still capped of a good 2 weeks of racing in as best a way as possible considering the circumstances.
Ivan was fine up front and had our columbian rock spider to keep him company and get him out of any trouble he got into. As it turned out he was quickly in an elite selection with the tour de france runner up quintana, his big rival for the vuelta vincenzo nibali, and a very experienced Spaniard in david arroyo. In the end he was 3rd distancing nibali in the final and finishing just behind the other 2 so was a great result for him and in reality has capped of perfectly 2 weeks of preparations for what has become his biggest objective of the season.
So all good her for the cannondale boys as we finally get to go home to our respective bases and absorb what's been an intense month of preparations which began with an altitude camp in san pelligrino, tour of poland and now burgos. All our bodies are going to enjoy some quiet days that's for sure!
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