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On the Rivet - Stage 4

Looking at today's stage profile, we were pretty eager to have a crack at getting in the early breakaway so that we could show our wares. Bernie and I were doing the best we could in picking the right move, but Astana weren't too keen on letting anything with much size go. Stuart O'Grady and another dude got away together at me stage and Astana and Saxo Bank spent the next half hour following the counter-attacks and then physically blocking the road so Boone else could move to the front. Way to go boys.... Looking at today's stage profile, we were pretty eager to have a crack at getting in the early breakaway so that we could show our wares.

Bernie and I were doing the best we could in picking the right move, but Astana weren't too keen on letting anything with much size go. Stuart O'Grady and another dude got away together at me stage and Astana and Saxo Bank spent the next half hour following the counter-attacks and then physically blocking the road so Boone else could move to the front. Way to go boys.... We couldn't pick the right move (it was one of 30) and when we hit the first climb I was hanging on for dear life as I had already spent so much energy. There were 5 categorized climbs today and for every one of them I felt like I was on someone else's bike.... In looking at my bike after the stage I discovered that the seat had indeed moved and I wasn't just creeping like a fat hubbard. I tell you, I had to grit my teeth a few times today. After 1.5 hours of the stage today I was averaging just under 350watts... Once again there were lots of crashes but not caused by the rain! There was sunshine today!

I don't know what it was but dudes were just riding into each other all day and 10 riders had to withdraw from the race....attrition. Unfortunately, attrition affected us as well as Dave Kemp was up all last night spewing from both ends as the cold, wet riding and the subsequent affects on his immune system took hold. He couragously started the stage but in his weakened state he didn't stand a chance. His roommate, Jono Cantwell also started showing signs of this virus during the stage and he was dropped without a chance of getting back on. I have proceeded to give my roommate, Curtis Gunn a nickname this week. "Smokin'". I think it's great. Smokin Gunn really showed me his grit today as he was dropped on the final climb, but he absolutely buried himself to get back on to the bunch after almost an hour trailing behind in the wind. Without this effort, he may have been eliminated from the tour. Nice one rider! You need to all understands that every cyclist and even teams have bad periods of form and luck. Some of the biggest names have the luxury of completely picking and choosing when they race. Most of us don't.

Due to various reasons, I only started training January 1 so I am behind the 8-ball here. This kills me, I hate making up numbers and I have been 8th overall here before. We only knew three weeks ago that we were going to be at this race and we have only spent 11 days and counting on our new team Parlee bikes. This is a big disadvantage. But the tide will turn, maybe not in this race but it won't be long and we will keep having a crack here as witnessed by Bernie Suzlberger's 9th place today against the best sprinters in the world. Follow us and we will take you far.

 
Home Diary On the Rivet - Stage 4