Stage 3 - Strattford to Strathmore
there was not a lot of clientele in the lodge where we stayed, so the first night the host didn't turn the heaters on. Luckily for us, the Saturday night it was packed so we enjoyed some warmth on the night.
We woke up to a miserable morning. there was a weather warning for the region, which is not uncommon, though. It probably rained 60mm overnight and kept on raining for most of the day. After sign in, I sat and reflected on the situation. I was not in contention for any of the jerseys, I do have a couple of heavy months of training coming my way, and it was raining hard. So I decided to take it easy on the downhills, play a bit of chasing if needed and stay upright.
the course had a big hill in the middle that we had to do twice, plus three more small hills, I was OK with the bunch until halfway and pretty much until 5km before the second time on the big hill, but the pace started to go up and on a 3km downhill section I let the bunch go and chased for 5 minutes on my own with no luck. I sat and waited for others and we continued merrily to the end.
It was a decision that I don't regret, and I pay the price by finishing probably 2 or 3min off the pack.
My mate Gordon had to pay the price a nastier way, his backwheel slided downhill on the way back and he came off with some scratches and bruises. The good thing is that the bike is OK (just kidding, you never think on the bike in these situations) he managed to finish the stage and do the afternoon one. He's on his bed now, with some pain.
Stage 4 - Strattford - Stratford
The afternoon stage started two hours and a bit after we finished the morning one. I managed to come back to the room, get a shower, scoop some bacon and eggs (not the greatest, but I couldn't manage to do anything faster) and ride back to the start line.
It was an ondulating stage that went through the first 10km of the morning one and then on some rural roads with small bumps here and there. there were 8 railways crossings, I managed to spot them OK and my crotch is safe (ha ha ha).
Again, the last downhill was a race I did not want to take part of (speacially after hearing from Gordo). So I had to chase, but I realized I had no legs, and did the last 5km on a secondary group, doing most of the work as they were in worst condition that I was.
All in all it was a good experience, but the weather proved to be evil enough to deter me from doing any serious racing.
I don't have any photos, I could not manage, but I'll get some tomorrow.
Date: 7 June
Sport: Cycling /// Cycling
Time: 113min /// 108min
Dist: 62km /// 50km
Comment: managed to stay upright, that is a big plus.