OK. I’ve been down to The Tour of Southland a few times. And there have been some epic days. This was one of those plus some.
The time trial is around a park. It was super windy with storms blowing in off the coast. One minute it was almost sunny and then hail and rain and wind. I got an OK weather break or I would of been way worse than in the 70’s.
2 hour break and then an 80 km stage that finishes on a wall. A 2 km wall. But, that wasn’t a problem compared to the weather. These races go from the gun. I mean before you clip in. And the wind was more. 40+ I’d guess. Within 10km the two best teams went to the front before a sidewind corner and I saw the threat. Long story short, I made the front group of 13 that rode away from the field. Only to be dropped after an hour of so. If I was well, it wouldn’t of been a problem at all. My lungs are about done. I rode for a long while by myself, in the 38 degree rain and sleet until a big group of 40 guys came up.
That group was going considerable slower than the front. Like 5 mph. So, it wasn’t hard to stay in it. Going out to the town of Bluff, you have to ride 15 miles out a narrow stretch of land. That is when the weather got really nuts. The wind was howling and then it started hailing. Hard. It was crazy how hard it was hitting our bare skin. It stung. I think our group might of broken up some, but can’t be sure what happened. I know a lot of guys got blown off the road and a few crashed. But, I have no idea how many. Anyway, about 5 miles from the climb, Brian took off with one other guy and put a fair amount of time on us before the bottom of the climb. Maybe as much as a minute. But, I haven’t seen the results, so I can’t be sure. I was around 5th or so of the remaining guys. Has to be somewhere in the late teen’s, but like I said, it was pretty hard to keep track of things. I do know that we lost a massive amount of time, the last I heard was 7 minutes, to the leaders. Nothing I could of done about that.
Anyway, went to the pharmacy and got some medicine. Hopefully, I can track down the race doctor before bedtime. I’m not sure my lungs can take a 100 miles of this again tomorrow. I’m pretty sure the weather is not predictable here. So, maybe it will be 70 and sunny.
OK. That’s it from here. It is so strange that Monday is over here and it’s still Sunday in the states.
Check out The Tour of Southland or cyclingnews.com for the massive time gaps!