Tour of Southland, NZ-Stage 3

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I’m really not sure what I’m doing down here.  I thought I knew when I left, but things took a 90 degree turn and I need to think it out.

Went to the race doctor last nite for a hour.  I guess I have a sinus infection in my chest or something like that.  I’m now taking antibiotics for the millionth time this season.  I thought it was the best course considering my ultimate goals this winter.  I guess Henk Vogels was there before me.  I talked to him for a while during the race today and he suggested that I quadruple the dosage for the first couple days.  He feels 50% better already.  I feel 75% worse.  But, that is usually how it goes with me and antibiotics.

Today’s stage was 170km.  Rolling, a few KOM’s, but nothing longer than a couple K.  Of course, cold, windy, and rainy.  There is no easy racing here.  The peleton is edgy always because of the wind and chances of crashes always. 

These guys start from the gun.  There were 3 points sprints in the first 2 miles of the race.  Instantly into the gutter.  I just about quit less than 10 km into the race.  I was 80 guys back in line with no control of anything.  My lungs are the size of peanuts and I am severely lacking motivation.  But, my main problem I figured out on the drive back after the race was the amount of concentration it takes during these races.  I had a wicked headache and didn’t have any ablility to concentrate.  And you have to at all times.  When you’re racing in the wind, gutter, rain-there is no time just to ride long and daydream. 

Anyway, I didn’t quit.  Brian was determined to make the front group today.  He made a bunch of good moves, but missed the real move.  I saw it going, but no one can understand what I”m saying on the radio.  My throat is so sore and I have virtually no voice, so the race radio for me is for information only. 

Anyway, the field split a million times into small groups.  Brian and I made each split in the front.  The most important split was with about 60 km to go after a KOM.  It got down to 15 or so of us.  But, I flatted a km later and waited way too long for a wheel.  I was in no man’s land and screwed.  But a couple miles later, the race leader was standing on the side of the road with his wheel off.  I noticed the front group all stopped and relieved themselves, waiting for him to get back on.  Very fortunate luck for me. 

The front group of somewhere between 5-8 guys, didn’t contain anyone of danger for GC, so the stayed off the front all day.  I was 5th in the sprint for whatever place we were going for.  There are 20 paying places each day and I figure why ride 4:30 in the rain and cold just to roll across the line. 

So, tomorrow is a double stage day.  First, a super hard stage up the coast.  Then an hour off and back in the saddle for a 80km dessert stage.  Should be just what the doctor ordered!  Til then. 

2 thoughts on “Tour of Southland, NZ-Stage 3

  1. poyntell

    Okay. Logging in to comment is a hassle but…awesome stories. Man, those are epic rides. Keep up the detail. It’s like being there (but glad you’re not!!) Wish I could have lungs the size of peanuts and still get 5th in the chase group!!! -cc


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