From WOW to outch ;)
today was probably the hardest stager of the race closey followed by the first one.
Serra da Estrela say much to most portuguese, the stage would promise to be very very hard. At the begining the twins (dutch guys) tear everything apart with the front guys, me excluded ad i droped back at the first downhill. Im having real problems to handle my bike in technical sections as my harms and tendoms are really suffering from the lack of preparation for MTB stage race. The big downhill at the start just teared me apart. a very looong roman cobble stone road left me far away from the lead, then there was the first super steep uphill, i was glad to have my arms back from that traumatic downhill ;)
i gained some spots from the crazy downhill doodes and altough i was far away from feeling as strong as yesterday i settled to a good rithm. uphill was very technical and required more from my arms, something that i really didnt want its strange to worry more about your arms than your legs while youre pedaling right :)
anyway to cut things short from what i understand the twins and Ignacio where working really hard to gain time on the race leader. at the very end of the big climb, besides the breathtaking scenary i caught the Craig and then Marco the race leader. Nice!!! then another techincal downhill and more hurting. Craing and Marco took of and was never abble to catch them on the section where i could put some power to the ground. It was a awesome course and the best was yet to come!!! the Downhill to manteigas was pure torture for me as i didnt have strength on my hands to control the bike at speed, i was really afraid to fall in sutch a soned roads. When i was arriving to manteigas i passed Marco that was fixing a flat.
After getting to manteigas a 17km climb was ahead. I was alone so i tried to do it at a good rithm with the energy i had left. Very very hard with section where you really want to dismount followed with some road stretchs that fell like downhill :)
i passed kate, the Handicaped female racer near the end and had a glimpse of Craing again at the top but couldnt catch him but did passed one of the brothers (i still cant say who is who) tht was dead. brutal climb and a almost fall when i was trying to give some love to my arms. after that it was a closed road downhill, that was perfect to get rid of the remainder distance fast.
i finished in 4th, craig got a penalty so i got up one spot in the day. But a lost a lot of time to the stage winner and ignacio.
Great stage where i suffered going up and going down, you cant ask more than that ;)
tomorrow will be easier