Monday, September 14, 2009

Tour de Timor

Stage 4

Stage 3 had been a real test for myself, and our team. But we soon realised that loosing the Yellow jersey befor stage four, 'the mountain stage', was well timed. It meant that we wouldnt be the ones having to cover breaks and push the pace, it was now team Praties that had to watch their backs.

Climbing to a height of 2000m with some of the toughest pinches I've seen was going to be the toughest test of the event, out of all stages. Unfortunately after my efforts the previous days, added to the fact I was now at my sickest, I knew this stage wasn't going to be a stage full of success for the King of the Mountain, I would be very lucky to hold onto the polka-dotted jersey after this stage (I would be very lucky to hold onto my food, without visiting the side of the road too!).

No more then 10kms into the stage dissaster struck our team, Neil had a pretty devistating flat, and without hesitation I gave him my wheel and he was off again, being towed back to the bunch by Pete. My race basically got worse from there, infact after fixing Neils puncture, I had a further 2 more flats and had to walk to the nearest feed zone.

I was more then happy to be the sacrifice, especially when I heard how well Neil and Pete rode. A fantastic stage for the both of them. Hitting Praties with a cluster of attacks, and with Pete driving the pace into the red zone, dishing out all the hurt, Neil finally administered the knock Out blow breaking the race wide open.

Running on little more then fumes Neil rode the stage to the win and despite a rathere big crash, after taking a corner a little too aggressively, Neil put some much needed time into Praties. Praties were still in the yellow, but it was clear the race would go into the last stage as anybodies!

What a pressure cooker situation!



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