Today was the longest single race. Something around 170km. The weather wasn’t horrible. Actually, the last couple hours were really pleasant, but still breezy. There was a climb with about 55km to go and that was where it was going to really start.
JR from our team got in the early break, that ended up staying away all day. It got down to just two guys, but two more bridged up after the climb and he ended up 4th. It was just tempo in the gutter for the first 3 hours. I have to say these riders are the rudest prick bike riders in the world. Bar none. Early in the race, we were just riding along and a guy beside me thought I was getting too close to him. So he sticks his elbow into my side. That wasn’t such a problem, other than I was overlapped with the guy in front of me, so I got leaning on his rear wheel. I pulled my brakes and backed off, but then the guy that started the mess started the normal talk- bla, bla, bla.
Then Hayden Roulston, the race leader, started giving me shit. I listened to his rant and then asked him what he had been doing in the sport of cycling the last 3 years. Must of been a sore spot, ’cause it really set him off. Exactly the reason I said it. He then rode up to me and told me he was going to take care of this after the race. I said sure, no problem. A hour or so later he called me a cheeky c***(women’s body part). (That is their 2nd favorite word.) I’m not sure what it means, but I’m sure it’s not a compliment. Anyway, it’s after the race and I haven’t seen him. Dang.
The race split up pretty good on the climb. Brian had got away 10km before it and had a minute, but his group didn’t climb very fast and we caught them right over the top. I was in a group of 7, but the climb didn’t split the field much. It got all back together and then the normal gutter riding, echelon, gutter riding thing ’til the end. I was 2nd in the field sprint, so ended up 6th for the day. Felt pretty good even though I don’t get breathing very well until I coughed up a bunch of stuff after the first hour or so.
Tomorrow is the last day. Double stage back to Invercargill. There is a medium climb in the middle of the first stage, but I think it is pretty much set, unless it is super windy again. Kind of hoping for it. Man, that is a big change. Wishing for wind.