Thanks to poor hotel wifi, I’m writing a few days into the Tour, and there’s lots to tell.
Tour de Suisse: 9 days
Here’s the promo:
Stage 1: 5 km TT
Ignoring fatigue from GP Gippingen we went through the motions of pre-ride, warm-up, explosive effort, cool down. I felt like I’d done a poor performance which made finishing 20th a little frustrating. The time gaps were so small that a little more gas out of the corners would have put me close to the top. My halfway time was 3rd best, but I faded a few seconds by the finish.
Stage 2: 165 km
As our only rider told to go in the breakaway, I prayed something would stick before the first climb. I jumped with everything. But we hit the climb “gruppo compacto.” I struggled over the climb and ended up off the front in a group of 20. The peloton dragged us back, and five riders got away. The attacking continued and I found myself with one rider 30 seconds behind the break and two minutes ahead of the peloton. The breakaway didn’t wait for us and after an hour of chasing we drifted back to the peloton. Out of gas on the finishing circuits, the climbers quickly shelled me. Our team was conspicuously absent from the first group, so in the coming days I won’t be the only one looking for the break!
Stage 3: 117 km
The 18 km Gotthard Pass, narrow and cobbled, loomed over the start line. Whether the climb itself or the sprinters shouting at anyone who looked eager to attack, everyone seemed intimidated and we rode a difficult but steady tempo up and over while just three riders flogged themselves ahead of us. Heavy cloud patches spat rain on the decent, and continued to pester us throughout the day. Jacket on, jacket off. Two climbs in the final 20 km obliterated the peloton, and I didn’t have the legs to follow.
Having felt great in training after a good California and Nationals, I’m a little perplexed that I haven’t been meeting my expectations here, but I know that form is in there somewhere.
More to come!