Tired legs and a headache were my friends at breakfast that morning. The illness was slightly getting worse but not enough to pull the plug yet.
I was fearing for another chaotic stage and for the first 50 km it really seemed like it.
Somewhere, don't ask where, I found some power in the aching muscles to follow a few dangerous attacks, but sadly missed the good move. Partly because my teammates weren't feeling much better than me and for a while I was following the attacks alone.
Luckily the leaders team then started controlling and it was a bit easier. I still felt like stopping, but told myself I'll help the team until the circuit and then stop. At least then I wouldn't be completely useless on the day.
Shortly before the circuit it was all lined out in the crosswind and I brought the team into a good place and closed a split. Again I thought "That's it. I can't give anymore. I'll stop." But I didn't.
On the circuit there was some bad crosswinds again and although I was badly placed on the first lap, I managed to hang on.
Lap two I made a smart sprint past the whole pack that cost me almost no energy and sat in the first 15 riders when the madness started again. Even in the first 15 it was super hard and there were a few riders ahead of me who couldn't hold the pace.
Unfortunately most of the guys that got dropped came back soon afterwards.
Surprised that I was still there I tried my smart move on the last lap again but this time it didn't work too well. Although I wasn't overly badly placed, I got dropped with 5km to go.
Sometimes it's surprising was the body is capable of when you push the limits. I'm just not sure it's the good kind of limit so I will see how it goes on the last stage tomorrow and if necessary pull the plug. The season is still long.
|Trying to get a clearer view of the carnage in front of me in the crosswind|
|Finishing a bit behind the peloton|