January 17, Day 14, Stage 12: "I decided to go for a solo finish."
It was one long stretch to the uphill stage finish today. 180k of rolling terrain
and a breakaway that almost made it. Luckily for me, I decided to wait in the bunch. The strangest moment in the race was
when I saw a rider in front of me doing a wheelie and a 90 degree turn at the same time, without seriously injuring himself.
A dog came running through the group and my best guess is that this rider found a special way to avoid a collision. I was
allowed to ride the stage in the red jersey of the most aggressive rider the day before, but I can't remember the break that
I was in during the time trial ;-) Anyway, I felt really strong and wanted to see what I could do in the uphill finish. With
3k to go the split was made, I crossed as sixth and last, but in the flatter part following another 10 or so riders made it
into the group. With 400 meter to go, everybody started looking at each other and I decided to go for a solo finish. Little
did I know that after the corner at 300m the road would turn uphill again, so I was caught with only 100 meter to go. Of course,
coming in 10th isn't quite the same as winning, but I am really pleased how these last 4 days of the Vuelta are unfolding.
I'll just give it a final go tomorrow!
January 18, Day 15, Stage 13 (final stage):
."I couldn't hold on when Medina attacked."
The final stage was short and hard. Already on the first of 4 big climbs
only 25 riders were left in the bunch. In the descent we even rode off with 10 of us, but I got dropped from this group in
the second climb and regained contact with the leaders after the climb. We did the 3rd in an even tempo and began the final
climb into the city of San Cristobal with the same 25 riders. I couldn't hold on when Medina attacked and struggled to get
in as 13th. The stage finish was phenomenal, as we rode into the velodrome of San Cristobal with the stadium being full. People
were cheering and of course, all the riders were happy too that the race is over. I hope you enjoyed the diary, it has been
quite a feat for me to keep riding on halfway through the race but I'm happy I did, I really enjoyed the last couple of race