Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Etapa 5. Oliveira do Hospital-Viseu 150.3km, 1.97 k accent

Todays stage was much easier than any of the previous. Our rivals Barbot were knackered after the tit tat (mainly driven by them) of the previous stage. Today I felt good. It was hot (38ºC) but I like the heat. The only challenge is drinking about 1.5-2L of water per hours. If you can manage that you, you can perform well even in extremely hot conditions. I didn't have much to do, just occasionally get water and a brief stint pulling on the front. At the end I felt good, but I punctured about 10km from the end when the peloton was flying along at high speed. I got back on and thought job done, but then there was a series of splits in the bunch on the final decent and I got stuck there... At 90kph and trying to conserve as much energy I wasn't going to bridge that gap! I must have lost a minute or two today.

The race was a sprint finish. Our sprinter Samuel Caldeira came 8th. He was spared from our earlier work which was to mark Barbot which annoyed me, because usually who picks up the tab is I. The race was won by Andrea Guardini

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