Just as we crested the Mur, the rain came bucketing down and I saw ahead that in fact I wasn't as well positioned on the climb as I had thought. There were 3 small groups ahead and I was about to get dropped from the one I was in. My legs were just completely empty today.
Somehow I managed to survive the next climb and all the small groups came back together after a very windy downhill and flat section.
Unfortunately soon after a big group escaped and the pressure was on to bring them back, making sure I was feeling my bad legs all the way.
A 1km climb with a narrow, broken road at 17% almost brought the peloton to a standstill and it was completely in pieces afterwards on the descend. Luckily no one put on too much pressure afterwards so we managed to come back.
On the next climb I went straight out the back. I just felt like I couldn't do a single pedal stroke anymore and it was still more than 60km to go to the finish.
Alongside me were two teammates that managed to get back with the peloton in the cars, but I just didn't have the legs to accelerate anymore.
I found a group of 5 riders and we worked well together until we reached the circuit. The circuit was the worst I have ever seen and I was glad I didn't have to tackle it in the peloton.
Small, narrow, broken roads all the time and terrible corners all the time with steep descends and uphills. It was impossible to keep a rhythm on the course.
I spent the last few laps with a rider from the Lotto Soudal Development team and was just cross-eyed the whole way through. I didn't believe I could make it to the finish, but didn't want to give up either.
But as it seemed the terribly dangerous circuit saved us, as the riders that went for the general went off the front of the peloton soon and the rest just tried to make it through the circuit without crashing or puncturing. Which meant the speeds weren't too high, giving us the chance to finish in the time limit, 21 minutes down.
Not that I thought I would ever manage the following 2 days but that wasn't on my mind at that time. I just didn't want to give up.
|The 17% climb. Doesn't look to bad on a photo|
|Still 2 laps to go... Deep in the pain cave|
|Nice scenery along the twisty circuit|
|One lap to go...|