The stirling stage of TDU always destroys the bunch! Its one of those strange stages that seems pretty cruisey until the final 800m which regardless of how the previous 4hrs has panned out leaves you on your knees!! Today was no exception! In fact today hit me so hard in the final m's that once I finally rolled to a stand still I simply got of my bike and walked for 100m or so, like yesterday the thought of pedalling any further than I had to made me feel physically sick! Anyways fortunately I survived the day one way or another and following my massage am fired up for another round of pain cave tomorrow.
Today the plan for the cannondale boys was again pretty simple. George and I try to avoid losing any time and should it come down to a sprint then ensure Elia and the cannadian cannonball are front and centre to duke it out with the fast men. The boys did a perfect job all day and I don't remember ever feeling out of position the entire day, well that was until the final 1km that is! Junior moharic and krisek did a great job all day and we needed to be at the front for the potentially decisive final 15km george, elia, cannadian cannonball and I were right there. All looked exciting for us leading into the finish until a big crash in the final km split the group and we all got caught behind. To be honest, even had it not have held me I don't think I was feeling as spritely as last year when I hit out in search of glory but none the less I did not get a chance to find out this year so at the end of the day was happy not to lose anymore time on GC to the main field. The same applied for george so atleast that part of the plan was executed one way or another!
My conversations with jensie are becoming a highlight of my day in the bunch. Each day there is somthing different for us to have a yarn about and today was no different. At the start we were chatting away about this that and the while in the neutral zone and I said to jens, gee my legs are sore I think we should attack at km 0!! No said jens as I don't have an aero jersey and I would waste to much energy pointing to his baggy black and white jersey. Fair enough I said but I attacked anyways to no avail! All I wanted to do was wake my pins up and i succeeded, I felt much better after that!
Anyways back to fun with jensie. Later in the day I waited until we had a good little audience around of people I felt we could have a little fun with. My cannondale boys were there of course, the lotto boys, the sky boys and a few of jensie's team mates. At this point I said "hey jensie, why does your jersey look like a T shirt? Which got a good laugh out of all the boys as I had hoped. Then as things calmed down a bit Bernie Eisel, another absolute legend and gentleman of the bunch said "jensie ordered them a few sizes to big as he is planning for his retirement! Knows its his last year of getting free cycling kit!" That response had us in stitches, nice to have a bit of fun in the bunch, it is the first race of a long season afterall and we have to ensure we enjoy as much jensie moments as possible!
So back to the race and basically was a non event for us cannondale boys in the end. We had done everything right all day and seemed to have ourselves positioned perfectly until the crash in the final km. I again had my heart rate north of 200 with 203BPM being my max today. When I saw that obviously it was at a moment we were going full gas but I remember thinking gee I am suffering what's my heartrate? I had a look and saw 203 and said to myself "Beauty I still have 3 beats to go so the tank aint empty yet!" So I decided to calculate how much time I have been north of 200 in the first 2 stages, the answer? 27minutes! Tomorrow we face the corkscrew, the decent that ruined my TDU last year. So I guess my plan will be pretty simple, firstly get to the top as far toward the front as possible and then not crash on the plunge down the other side!
Todays race data
Ave Power: 240 watts
Ave Heart rate: 140
Max Heart rate: 203
Kcal burnt: 3700
Max power: 1100 watts
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