Castelo de vide - Monsarraz 169km
i woke up "feeling ok", not sure if that would mean something, my arms are really trashed and im still loosing strenght on my hands during the stage especially if the terrain doesnt cooperate.
leaving Castelo DE Vide the was a big techical climb followed by a very shaky downhill and then up and down that would take a long time to do.
The first climb was just 2km from the start, nice warmup, i was in the front, going down was another story, lost time...catch up to do with 15km (that took almost an hour to cover) and 3 minutes behind the group that included Ignacio.
I had still several people around me and caught marco that was alone and we made contact with the escapes.
i pushed the pace for severall kms especially in the road sections, at km 50 we would espect to hit the private land passes and thar would mean opening and closing Gates some of them with very tricky locks. as a rule a group cant proceed until the gate is closed and the man that closes the gate in on board his bike. there where 36!!!! gates wainting for us for 100km!!! ;) the other "rule" is if a group has noone in sight behing then it can close the gate, that makes break aways kinda tricky to actually happen.
with that in mind and since there was still so many guys around i needed to be concertrated, the pace was sow but you never know. there where parts that we where going really slow with so many gates to go through it was impossible to leave anyone behind. Curiously it was the part where i felt really bad, probably with all the stop wait and go's
peace reigned until km 85 where one of the few water spots was. I decided to be self suficient, like ive done in all stages so far, for this long stage i took extra weight,
everyone Except joao Mesquita stoped so i kept going with him in a rithm that would be enough for them to get to me easely. there was a steep hill in road surface and at the end of it i looked back to see where they where, close. Then all of the suden MArco and Craig went through me in a crazy speed, i looked back and WOW everyone got behing, ill get onboard this train!!!
there is my chance to try take some time of ignacio!!! from then on it was all about pushing as much as i could with the duo. My arms where more and more weak and i fell at around 110km since i didnt have strenght to hold my hadlebar properly, nothing serious other than my afected EGO ;) this is the second fall of the race.
the gap got bigger to the max of 4 min then it started do shrink,after the fall it got to 2:30, pure racing and i was loving it!! fortunately the terrain left wasnt too shaky or i would be in trouble with handling.
close to monsarraz the gap got to 1:30 (i was suposing that ignacio was with the brothers) then the climb to monsarraz.... again steep, stoned and freaking hard. MArco droped back in the begining and craig was in my wheel and i was almost sure he was just waiting for it to get steeper and leave me behind witch hapened. What i wasnt expecting was looking back and seeing the yellow Jersey getting close so fast!!! he passed me and got to craig, just WOW how he did that hill!!!! after getting to the top there was just a downhill to the finish line. Craig eventually won and i was just a few seconds behing them, did i say i was impressed with gijs in that hill???
i took some time off Ignacio not enough i think. Great pall by the way!!!
no more workouts today for me ;)
tomorrow is an easier stage