TOS-Stages 4 &5 +

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Double stages today.  Not sure if I’ve mentioned it’s cold, rainy and windy here.  It was all three again.  Don’t have a ton of time, but here’s the short version. 

Brian rode most of the first stage off the front and made the front selection as a reward.  But, he bonked with 10 km to go and barely hung onto the group.  I rode in the gutter for almost 3 hours.  It was a 101 km stage and we averaged 35km an hour.  For all you Americans, that is around 21 mph.  And we were going super hard. 

It cleared up for the 2nd stage.  Just cold and windy.  Barely any rain.  It was a mear 88km.  Side wind most of the day.  Around 30mph or so.  Maybe more.  Brian and the rest of my team decided to rotate up the front with the race leaders team, so they didn’t have to grovel in the gutter.  I like grovelling, so that’s what I did.  With about 30 km to go, it all went to hell and all of us ended up in a group that didn’t really have any purpose.  I had a purpose, which was to get to the finish line as quickly as possible with expending as little energy as possible.  Didn’t quite work that way, but it could of went worse.  I kind of bonked with 10 km to go and ate a bunch and dug deep. 

I’m in 14th Overall now.  It amazes me that I’m moving up in GC each stage when I’m in totaly survival mode.  Maybe more guys than I can imagine are in that very same mode. 

Random thoughts, observations-

It is really, really windy here!

Slept upright on a couch from 3-5 am, not to wake Brian up and to not cough anymore.  Got booted to the “sick”room.  Didn’t seem like punishment to me.

New Zealand Bicycle Racers use the F*** word at least 4 times each sentence.  It must be the way they were taught English in school.  Most of the time, it is the only word that comes out of their mouths.

I forgot how nice it is to get a massage each day. 

Coal smoke (they heat their houses here with coal) is not a pleasant thing.

Even though I feel like s***, I seem to be getting better each day.  It is so weird what stage racing does to your body.

Tomorrow finish is at the top of the hardest climb of the race.  Seems like most these guys go great on the flats and are bad uphill.  Guess we’ll see for sure tomorrow. 

It is really, really windy here!

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