Friday, May 11, 2012

Trans Portugal – Day 7 – Monsaraz to Albernoa


 Wow what a day.  Fast Fast Fast.

We started at 9am again and it was already 25 degrees.  Big downhill section on tarmac to start.  16km of it.  About 10 riders out of the 20 in our group put the hammer down.  I just sat at the back and let them do it.  We caught the over 40 year olds who start about 7 mins in front of us inside the hour.  The group was suddenly about 25 riders.

We hit the first obstacle about 30km in.  A big river which was nearly waist deep.  And out the other side a climb.  I hung in there but was off the back with another chap who just happened to be very very high in the GC.  We tagged teamed our way back to the bunch which was not only about 10-12 riders.

Again I hung in the back and the bunch slowed a little.  Two more guys joined us but about 10km later were gone.  In fact I don’t really know what happened but basically half the riders just appeared to sit up on a climb.  Suddenly it was just three riders with me tailing off the back.  I sling shoted Rui to try and get him back on and joined the back.  Rui dropped of the back and it was just four of us.    I lasted another 10-15km and at 95Km I was gone.  The water points were at 103km so the plan was to fill up and wait for the fast boys behind. 

I was in fairly bad shape and needed some recovery time.  I made the water point and three girls were filling up.  Rui caught me at this point and had filled two water bottles and bailed before I had a chance to finish filling my camelbak.  I spent the next 30 mins trying to catch the girls.  Yeah they are fast.  Finally caught them and sat with them for 20km to recover.  I was still waiting for the fast boys and needed more food.
15km to go and they still hadn’t caught me and one of the girls was tailing off on some of the climbs.  I had a quick chat with them and said I was going to get moving.  I dumped them after a gate for the last 15km.  Took a gel or two and put the pedal to the metal. 

I finished 8th !!!  Six minutes in front of the fast boys who are way higher than me on GC.  The girls were another 15 mins or so back.  A great day but paying for it now.  Have two very sore knees and a sore Achilles.  My ribs are still sore from a crash a few days ago.  Fingers crossed nothing to bad but I have to finish.

Will have to see where I go on the GC but doubt it will change much.  Only two more days to go to survive.  Roll on Sunday !!!

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