Well, that was a pretty tough stage, to say the least. I felt pretty awful all day today. I struggled keeping any food down, had a thumping headache most of the stage and felt generally crap.
The stage started pretty fast with constant attacking. Andy Fenn and I were active and trying to get into the day’s breakaway. That way we could try to stay in front over the day’s first climb and help out towards the finish.
Andy rode well and slipped into the break. Behind in the peloton it went pretty easy for a while before the pace slowly ramped up a little. It was pretty windy all day, so before we knew it the bunch was starting to split and the race was back on!
The wind was blowing pretty hard and it was pretty open and exposed on the three 20km laps we had to cover before the hills started, so it was pretty important to keep Gerald up the front. I did all I could and fought pretty well considering how I was feeling and kept him out of trouble before we approached the first climb.
The speed before the climb had killed my legs already; as soon as we hit the climb the gruppetto formed straight away. I was pretty relieved to say the least. I was glad to know there were a few other guys feeling the same as me.
Our jobs were done. We will all be needed tomorrow so we all rode to the finish together and took it pretty easy. In this game losing 2mins and 20mins is exactly the same. It’s better we save whatever we have left for tomorrow’s criterium around town.
Up in front, Gerald managed to finish 13th and unfortunately just slipped out of the top 10. I can’t say I’m too happy with today’s winner but we won’t go into that.
Tomorrow is the 6th and final stage. With the general classification how it is, it’s likely to be a formality. A breakaway will go, GreenEdge will control and bring it together and we will again risk our lives to win a bike race!
Pretty simple stuff.