There is a good reason for the look of disappointment on my face. I was 100m from the finish line leading the final sprint – I could taste the victory, see myself on the podium…. Then 4 guys came storming passed me and I ended up 5th. LOL.
At 130Km and after little recovery from yesterday’s suffering at the Catalunya championships (we got to our hotel at 9pm last night and started this morning at 9am) I didn’t have high expectations today. Having said that I knew that everybody else had tired legs too and I normally go quite well on the second day. Plus I had 2 coffees to get me going so was of course smiling on the start line.
Unlike yesterday I decided to conserve as much energy as possible until the main climbs. I have to admit I felt terrible for the first hour until the legs warmed up. There was a lot of attacking leading up to the first climb, I left them to it until at Km 60 I saw a break with riders in it I knew were strong so I squeezed out of the peloton and put the hammer down to bridge the gap. There were 10 of us, 2 more joined later, making 12. Most took their turn on the front, a few needed a little persuasion and I’m always happy to help with that. I was comfortable in the break and our lead extended from 1 minute to 2.5. We knew at that point we would take it to the line.
On the final ascent the pace heated up and I had to dig deep but by the sounds of the puffing and panting not as deep as some of the others. There were many attacks and I followed wheels being strict with myself to conserve energy for the key moment. On the final descent somehow my chain dropped whilst doing 70Km/h, magically I remounted it in situ and knew somebody was looking out for me today!
Many tried solo escapes in the last 10Km but they were all chased down. So it would be left to a sprint. I positioned myself well around the final bend, followed wheels for as long as I could bear and when nobody went and I saw that line and couldn’t help myself, I launched my sprint. At first there was a gap behind me but 4 riders soon got on at which point I realised I had given them the perfect lead out.
Overall I am pleased with the result, I know I can make the podium and by golly I want it so bad!