GP Indurain: 1 day 200 km
I enjoyed a gloriously uneventful week in Lucca, resting hard to undo and gain from the damage done at the Volta Catalunya, then hopped on a plane to the Basque Country. Although GP Indurain is a lower level race than Catalunya, many of the World Tour hitters still came to rev their engines before the Tour of the Basque Country.
After an hour flat out I forced my way into a fourteen man breakaway and abandoned my vest and arm warmers. Team Moviestar held us on a tight leash so we kept the hammer down. With 70 km to go we entered a series of selective climbs. In the switchbacks below we could see the peloton fracturing and lashing out at the steep pitches. Every sideways glance down showed the distance between us shrinking. Then they invaded the cohesion and privacy of our breakaway breathing on our necks, closing in on all sides, and leaping ahead of us. I used the energy I might have been saved for the finish to hang on to their coattails. Six of my teammates had made the selection of forty and at the crest of the next climb, the elastic broke behind Moreno Moser. He and another ten riders pulled away from us. The rest of us lined up behind Greenedge, who had missed the break. Their furious chase hurt but they burned through their support riders, and the gap to Moreno’s group grew.
Rolland and Slagter followed a desperate counter attack that almost ended my race, but we caught them before the finish. Moreno finished third and I kicked up the last hill to place fourteenth.
My French Soigneur, Sophie, took me to the airport but not after a delightful speed tour of Bilbao. She gave me the rare opportunity to actually see where I was, and I was back on the couch in Lucca before the weekend ended.
Next stop: Ardennes Classics