Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


08 October 2011

Tour Of Tasmania: Stage Six and Seven

A day of suffering that's for sure.  The day started out great with a fast and sketchy criterium thanks to a bunch of parked cars on the course.  On a side note I gotta say that this sort of stuff is not on at this level of bike racing.  To have cars on the course makes a dangerous sport even more so and thankfully everyone made it through unscathed.  The team rode awesome to set up Kemps for another win although on the downside Cam's yellow jersey lead got reduced after some strong intermediate sprints from Haas.  This race is going to come down to the wire.

The second stage of the day was set up to be the hardest of the week, with a nasty 3.5km climb of just under 9% average and pitches of over 15%.  Yikes.  Looking back I would say this is perhaps the biggest day of suffering I've had on the bike this season.  Overall the day was not flat, with plenty of rolling hills and attacking thanks to the narrow GC gaps.  The boys rode awesome to keep things together and the plan was to save myself to look after Bernie and Cam on the major climb and onwards to the end of the stage.  Coming into the valley floor after a tricky decent Genesys lit it up and split the field so only a smaller group was now heading into the monster climb.  I got a terrible run at the base of the hill thanks to a few riders putting the reverse lights on as soon as the road went skywards.  It was a slow and painful slog fest but we finally reached the top and as expected the field had shattered with Cam on the wrong side of the split.  Over the top it was full gas on the front to pull the leaders back and preserve the yellow jersey.  It took about 5km with the gap oh so close for quite sometime but we finally bridged.  From then on out to the line it was just pure suffering to ride the front and contain as many GC threats as possible.  A group of 3 slipped away but were no threat.  With no help from any other teams until inside 2km I finished completely spent.  We held the jersey by just one second.

 Packing was tight for each day.....

....every last square inch was utilized!

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