Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Tour Nivernais Morvan - Stage 3

Although I could barely walk down the hotel steps to eat my breakfast, I decided to try and start the stage. Maybe a good warm up would loosen up my hip and make it possible to survive the stage.

As I pedaled in squares through the start on my new bike (Wilier Cento Air, which is the more aero version of the one I cracked the day before), I felt better than at the breakfast table, but my hip was still protesting with every pedal stroke. I still decided to start and some encouraging words by my teammates made it a lot easier for the first few kilometers.

Then my gears stopped working, because as it turned out later the mechanic had put a faulty battery on my bike by accident, when he built it up the night before.
So spinning like a mad man trying not to get left too far behind I called for my teamcar, changed the bike and made my way back to the bunch. Normally this wouldn't have been a problem, but with a hurting body it wasn't so easy.

A few kilometers later I changed back to my original bike, as it was fixed in the meantime, but this time it took me a lot longer to get back to the peloton. Mostly because it was almost all uphill and the draft doesn't help as much.

Upfront the break still hadn't left and the GC teams were throwing everything they had against each other.
The circuit was similar to the one the day before, except shorter climbs, but a lot of them. So many indeed that I can't remember a single piece of flat road anywhere.

I assisted my leader with covering all the dangerous moves and keeping him out of trouble when I could. However I didn't know for how long I'd be able to do it.

A teammate was involved in a crash that happened in a crosswind section, which split the peloton to pieces. It all came back together though and my teammate wasn't badly hurt either.

Couldn't say the same. All the bumpy roads and ups and downs had taken their toll on me and I was hurting in places I didn't know I was injured. My arm for example suddenly seemed unable to maintain a tight grip on the handlebar. It didn't take long until I was hanging at the back at each little rise.

Then I hit a nasty bump with my right leg and hip absorbing all the shock and a numbing pain shot through my leg right up to my fingertips. I couldn't pedal anymore.
Straight away I was out the back and knew there was no way I would make it. I put my hand up, waiting for the teamcar to arrive and pulled out.

It went so well for a moment that I actually thought I might make it to the finish. Unfortunately I had picked the worst stage to be injured on and it just didn't work out.

The next day I spent in the teamcar watching the team get a solid 4th and 5th in the stage. It was interesting to see a race from a different point of view again. However I would've rather been on the bike myself.

Now I'm traveling to Switzerland for a week and hopefully will recover soon from my injuries. The mountains are calling!

Until next time.

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