Wowsers trousers, that was a welcome back to the world tour race day! The course today seemed to be just perfect for inflicting pain on each other. From the gun the attacks were fierce and while no climbs were long enough or steep enough to create significant selections, they were the perfect length and gradient that it seemed someone wanted to go full gas at the front all day! In the bunch sprint eventuated, all be it with a reduced sized field with our Mr Ratto continuing his improvement throughout the race to arrive 3rd behind infamous thor (god of thunder). So for the cannondale boys all went to plan today. Ivan was protected and ensured he kept his GC position intact and ratto was up there in the bunch gallop. Paterski was perhaps best on ground for the team today shutting down countless dangerous attacks and also slipping into a decisive move in the final kms that was only neutralised within 3km of the finish so great to see him putting on a show in his home race.
In the bunch it was a stressfull day which seems to happen when the pace is high and you always feel like you seconds away from getting dropped! It means that once the pace slows a little or terrain eases of about 3 quarters of the field dive bombs to the front so you are constantly trying to defend your position. Anyways its racing so you just have to cop these days with the less stressful ones.
But still I had a feeling that today just seemed to be full jolly tilt all day so that's the beauty of having a power meter, you can find out if it was actually hard or your just not in very good nick! Fortunately on this occasion a quick study of todays file pointed out a few confirmations of the ferocity of todays stage. Firstly when 0's are removed so when your coasting in the race, my average power while pedalling was 325 watts which is pretty high for almost 4hrs! Secondly I like to assess the 5min peak power as todays climbs were roughly that length and I was delighted to see that when I was chewing my head stem at a couple of occasions throughout the day I did 500watts for 5min which is a nice little psychological fitness barrier for me, when I can do this I know I am headed in the right direction. 10min peak power was low in comparison as the climbs were not so long but still a max of 430 watts for 10' which would have included some decending is certainly keeping the pedal to the metal. A max power of 1040 was also recorded so all in all I had some nice numbers todays and good signs that the body is not so disappointed to be back racing. I only did a little work on the front today in the final kms of the major climb as many sprinters were dropped so I wanted to ensure they did not rejoin and make it more difficult for ratto in the sprint so I was again happy to make a contribution. Once over this climb paterski slipped into the dangerous move so from there it was simply a case of ensuring ivan and ratto were in the perfect positions to ensure they were all tickedy boo for there respective jobs in the final kms. From there I just kept myself out of trouble and upright and ensure I lived to fight another day tomorrow with all my skin intact!
Tomorrow is going to go off like a fire cracker if its raced like to today with similar climbs but a little steeper and twice as many of them so going to need a good sleep tonight!
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