14 May, 2012

Another weekend in France

I spent another long weekend racing in France and actually enjoyed some good weather this time! I’ve definitely gone a nice shade of Umpa Lumpa from the bicep down which is nice. I managed to pick up a stomach bug or something for the first few days of the tour so that made things considerably less enjoyable. I got in the break on day one but was feeling sick as a dog and ultimately I went out the back door on a little climb, before actually being sick. I got caught by the group behind and clung on to them before realising 30km from the finish that my pedal had completely seized up and the team car was ahead so it couldn’t help me. I stuck it out in the group until the end, when I was on the wheel of an attacker who I followed off the front. Unfortunately there was a dodgy corner 3k from the end and drifting out too wide I had to hop over a ditch and ride down a grass verge to avoid wiping out. I got back on the road, chased for the final section and finished just off the back of the group. It was a pretty poor race all round for me.

Day two involved most of our team getting caught out at the back in the crosswinds when our rival team smacked it at kilometre seven (so bloody early) and having to drag our hinds back to the business end of the race. It was a full blown suffer fest which my dodgy stomach did not really enjoy. It was nice and sunny though so I worked on some great tan lines.

Teeeeeam camp!

Day three was a double day – the Frenchies favourite! It was breakfast at 6am, stage at 9am, lunch at 12 noon, race at 3:30pm. Unbelievably I felt amazing! I got in an early break with two teammates and drove it to try and take the yellow jersey for Llewellyn, and we got a minute on the bunch, but the Frenchies behind eventually got their act together and pulled us back. I did lead-out duties at the end for Kinch and he got a strong 3rd place. 

The afternoon was a crit of about 80km and Gus got in an early break (which ended up staying away) so we had no obligation to work. He did a great job, getting 2nd on the stage, but unfortunately our idea of putting time into Kinch’s rivals for GC went wrong when he lost my wheel in the choppy run in to the line.

Sweet tree-house or what?!

I learnt a few things at the weekend: even when you think the race is over because you’re off the back after 25km, it’s probably not. Long journeys are great for reading books: I’ve read 288 pages in two car journeys and I’m pretty slow (at reading). Make sure you tighten all your bolts because when your bottle cage falls off at 55kph it’s a bit unnerving. Speedplay pedals are crap! (I’ve broken three pedals in about three weeks). Racing in the sun is a LOT more fun than racing in the rain.

Yaaaaay, we finished!

Off to France again for Franche Comte in two days!

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