Following our 2 days of racing here in japan we enjoyed yet another relaxing rest day as we drove to the site of our next stage, mt fuji. Today was the 3rd stage and it measured only 11km as it went straight up mt fuji. No gentle run in, not even a few circuits at the base to warm up the pins, simply line everybody up and straight into the the 10% slopes of japans most famous mountain.
I was really excited about todays stage, I had gently ridden up it yesterday and was optimistic that I could do a good job today. My lungs on the other hand had a different idea and as light rain started to fall I suffered an allergy attack and had the pleasure of hyper ventilating my way up the final 5km of the mountain. So a disaster day for me and frustrating due to these attacks being out of my control and always seeming to come when I am in a great position, anyways will get it sorted with all the required tests when back in aus next week.
At the start of the day we had very distinctive objective objectives, to get me on the podium and go for the win with chris and myself. The plan was simple, follow a solid tempo to the steepest section which began at 5km to go where at which point chris would attack and go for the stage win, hopfully put all the others in the red zone, and I could lock into my tt mode and grind up the hill and gradually ride away aswell. Chris did a great job doing his part and initially it looked to work perfectly and he put the 3rd and 4th placed riders in difficulty but unfortunately as I began my quest to overhaul them my lungs started using a mind of there own and it was all over. Chris was marked by the same 2 nippo team riders that had demolished me the day before and went onto finish a very brave 3rd and achieved a great result on the queens stage of the race.
Now its lights out time in a hotel with a difference. We are in a traditional style hotel so no shoes and we are sleeping on the floor so yet another cultural adventure for a day in which we climbed the countries famous landmark. Nothing like team bonding when all six of us are stacked into a room with merely enough room to role out our footons let alone swing a cat!!
All in all its been a great experience in japan and a look at tomorrows race map would indicate that another day of excruciating carnage is on the menu!!
As always, looking forward to it
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