Finally feel I have the energy to be writing an informative update on what’s been happening at this year’s tour, from my perspective.
After 3 days it feels like the Subway unit is starting to gel. We’re having plenty of good laughs and helping each other out in the peleton.
Day 1: 7.1k Time Trial
I really wanted to win this one and to prove it, unlike in previous years I wasn’t interested in being fastest in Subway, I didn’t really register too much about what the other guys were doing. I was last off with a rider from each team going first. There were still riders behind me as we are the 13th team (numbers 61-65 our of 105 riders with the start order for the TT being race numbers in reverse ) but already Michael Vink had posted what looked like the time to beat – 9min 29seconds.
I knew I had good form coming off the back of elite nationals and breaking the record on the old Tai Tapu road last week. I was employing a new (and effective) psychological skill + I felt the best I have felt at the start of a tour for a long time!
Well, at the end I had given absolutely everything – I came up absolutely spent I had to get off my bike as quickly as possible. A little disappointed to finish 6th – on 9mins 29, the winner was hand timed (he broke his transponder) at 9:28 and the next 6 of us all finished on 9mins 29seconds … milliseconds! Well at least I know I gave it my all AND I’m well placed on general classification. Onto day 2…
143k Apiti circuit
With 5 strong guys in the team we were confident that we’d not only make the break but maybe have two of us in it. I was quite keen to sit in, watch and save myself for the latter part of the race when I thought it would be made. Unfortunately for me, good for Sam, the move went early and I wasn’t there. After 20k of milling around and thinking about how George Bennett won this tour last year by jumping from group to group, I took off from the gruppetto with two skinny little hill climbers in pursuit of the 22 riders up front. And we made it! After 40k we finally made it! I was completely gone by the time we got there – but I had made it, with the peleton 16mins back!
Today I had 6 lives – life 1: I got back to the lead group! Life 2: locked up my rear wheel on a 1 lane bridge and consequently lost the road and rode into a culvert. Plenty of mud for my spoils. Life 3: Got dropped on the final climb from the lead group and got back on (was last over). Life 4: Got crashed into by Aussie when we got directed the wrong way and had to do a quick u-turn. Life 5: Got dropped again from the lead group in the final 10k – got back on again!
Day 3 – yesterday in reverse 153k
Well today I hoped for a bit of an easier day after getting so drilled the last 2. And I got it! Grover (team mate Nick Lovegrove) made it into the early move. Drapac and Jayco the two Aussie teams controlled the race – and we sat in! Grover and Sam Bewley (ex RadioShack and a New Zealand Track cyclist representative) stayed away til the end, just, with Grover just being pipped on the line. Awesome ride by the Grover though, and boy do I feel a whole lot better today!