Monday, 13 June 2011

Gippsland 3 Day Tour - B Grade

The Gippsland 3 Day tour was a great event and B grade was tough with the largest field including the winner of the A grade Gippsland Crit Championships. Pictures can be found here. Here is a quick summary of the stages for myself:

Stage 1 - This stage was tough with a average speed faster than A grade. Each time we passed over the KOM, the bunch grew smaller which gave me hope. I took part in the final sprint with no results but at least I looked the part for the home crowd.

Stage 2 - I was keen to hit time trial hard. For some reason, the road chosen had more pot holes and ruts than a 4wd track. Given that my average speed was 40km/h, it wasn't fun when my glasses fogged up. I managed to pass the two riders ahead of me which secured me 9th overall and gave me 6 points towards the GC. 

Stage 3 - The longest stage of the tour and a decent KOM. I took 5th place in the first two KOMs with a large gap behind me to the bunch. On my 3rd attempt, I was clear with another strong rider but cramped 100m from the top. Overall, I managed to finish with the bunch after struggling with cramps on the last lap. My points total rocketed to 8.

Stage 4 -In the first KOM, a rider came off in front of me and I was happy to roll around and remain upright. I had a go in the 2nd KOM but after leading out too early, I died before the top. Coming into the final sprint I had a great position in the top 5 but was slowed down by another rider and finished mid bunch. 

Overall I was happy to finish in the top half of the field (just) and finish all 4 stages (over 200kms+ including warm ups) without being dropped. My legs are feeling it now and I am glad tomorrow is a rest day off the bike.

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