Today we raced the first stage of the G.P. Costa Azul. We won the race last year through intermediate of Samuel Caldeira.
The race was motly flat, with a hill at the end. The hill wasn't a big problem, but the approach was hectic and extremelly dangerous. A massive fight broke out in the bunch, with the usually calm Cabreira of Onda absolutly furious at a rider from Katusha who shouldered his Onda team mate of the road! I escaped the danger, but it was mad, something I have rarelly seen.
I knew the Russians were kamikazi and just avoided them. I don't care if I have to invest a greater effort to stay safe. In fact, that's why I lost time. On the descent into Setubal (the finish) I was in the lead group after bringing my sprinter up to it, but the 80kph descent, the many curves coated with dust from the nearby quarry and finally watching a basque of the Orbea squad.
At the end there was another fight, again the Katusha quad was involved, but this time their opponents were the Spaniards of the Murcia squad. Needless to say the commisars broke it up and gave them time penalties.
On a personal note I felt well, I did a huge amount of good work and everything would have been perfect had it not been for Samuel Caldeira, our sprinter falling 500m from a line... due to a Katusha.
I don't mind the Katusha's I should add! The race was won by an Orbea rider, Jon Aberasturi who benefited from the faster men getting caught up it the crash.