January 12, Day 9, Stage 8: "On my own for the most gruelling stage of this tour."
Just one of those days. I was in the first proper break of the day,
when my bottle holder almost came off my bike. I stopped next to our team car and we fixed it as fast as possible, but by
then all the team cars were already out of sight. The chief commissaire here is quite strict on the rules, so I wasn't allowed
to pace behind the car to get back to the cavellade. This meant that after 8k, I was on my own for the most gruelling stage
of this tour. I tried to get back on by myself of course for a while, but when that proved impossible, I had to pick a pace
and just keep riding (look at the picture how lonesome that can be). In the end, I managed to reach the finish (only ever
passing one other rider) with about an hour more riding time than the stage winner. The organization was as kind as to stretch
the time limit with some extra per cents, so I will be able to start tomorrow. Honestly, I don't want to think about that
too much right now. I just want to eat and go to bed. Lifes wishes can be so simple sometimes.
January 13, Day 10, Stage 9: "I had never
even thought of attacking."
The 9th and final day before the rest day. I could tell I was tired,
I had never even thought of attacking by the time the break of the day had gone. Still, I didn't feel too bad and enjoyed
the massive crowd (there were people shouting and cheering and having fun on every single meter on the 10k lap). As I was
feeling better and better, luck wasn't on my side for another time. First I puncture just before the 1,5k climb, 2 laps later
the rider in front of me crashed and I ended up tangled up with the finish fences and in the following descent I almost crashed
at 70kph as a kid crossed the street without looking. That was about as much excitement as I can take in one race ray, but
coming in I was just happy with reaching the finish in one piece and even enjoyed all of the fans surrounding the bike riders.
Now, it's time to sit back and relax for 2 days.