Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tour of Tassie- Day 3

Day 3.
Stage 5. Smithton to Stanley- 116.5km
Only one stage today and a bit longer than the others. I was looking forward to this one. There was only 35 odd ks of riding to Stanley and then 10 laps of a circuit (7.9km) for the last 80km. There was a short climb in the circuit that was bloody steep, followed immediately by an exposed piece of road with strong cross winds and some more gradual climbs before descending back into Stanley. A break containing mountain biker Nathan Haas and Scody Cup series leader Richard Lang went clear before we hit the circuit and got a lead of over 4 minutes. For a few laps of the circuit the pace wasn’t too bad with Fly V on the front dictating the pace. Manager Peter was in our ears warning us that Fly V was getting commands to bring back the gap. Nervous times. We tried to ready ourselves by getting right near the front to not get caught out in any splits in the bunch after the climb in the cross winds. In particular we were trying to lead Ben up the peleton and keep him fresh. Inevitably, fly V put the hammer down up the climb and into the cross winds. The peleton was getting blown to pieces and people were grovelling in the gutter all over the place but I stayed in the lead group and it all came back together. The pace steadied for a few laps and then on the final lap it happened all over again, but more carnage. I got dropped from the lead bunch in the crosswinds and formed a bit of a group. With about 1km to go we bridged the gap to the group in front, which turned out to be the first main bunch across the line. A good result personally and also for day the team. Ben Dyball unfortunately missed getting back into the lead bunch but led the next one in so didn’t lose too much time, while Steve Robb also finished in the same bunch as I so we climbed into 8th position in team GC.


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