Day 2 of burgos was a windy affair. Not enough to cause chaos in the field but enough to cause a lot of nervous stress in the bunch. The positive of this means that generally the pace is also nervously high so the 157km was knocked over pretty quick, in 3hrs 30' to be exact. Again today we put all our eggs into the ratto basket as after yesterdays showing felt he had a good chance of taking the victory. In the end he was a little out of sorts in the final 500m and did not figure in the sprint but the team ensured he had the best chance to do so which was important.
An early breakaway formed and the race leaders astana quickly gained control of the escapees and set a solid tempo at the head of the field. With 40km to go the break sensed there chance to go for glory and the margin started to inch up a little dangerously. At this point I went to work on the front of the bunch and along with the astana lads lifted the pace for the next 15km to get the break back to a manageable margin. With 20km to go we had the group pegged at 1min 30sec so very much under control. At this point astana decided to start playing silly buggers with us and refused to help so as I was not in the mood for games I just backed of the pace a little and pulled for longer to ensure I still caught the break but also did not burn myself out prior to this happening. My team mate canuti came up to help me out which worked perfectly and as planned we reeled in the final escapees with around 4km to race. At this point as expected other teams took up the pace setting for the finish and we still have 5 fresh guys to help ratto in the final km's. The boys put him in a perfect position but unfortunately unlike 24hrs before his leathal sprint eluded him in the final push for the line.
None the less it was another positive tick for the team with regard to working as unit and committing to the daily task. From my point of view I was really happy to get a good solid 45-50min of work in on the front of the peleton as I have not done much of this type of work on the front this season. Until today most of my work has been in the climb or in the final km's at a higher intensity so was good to work on the engine just below this above threshold area for a change. Looking forward to feeling the benefits of this next time a do a time trial. The experience of the giro has certainly served me well as I am much more aware of pushing only as hard as is necessary to perform the task that's required. In the past I have been perhaps a little over exuberant with my effort and spent my biscuits a little early so I am enjoying have a little more of a race brain on my shoulders now.
All in all another good day heading toward the vuelta, looking forward to seeing what comes our way tomorrow.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device