Monday, October 24, 2011


Racing in Asia is very different to Europe. In Europe, the race follows a routine... Very fast start, breakaway gets away, everyone slows down, sprinter's team controls the race, breakaway gets caught, sprint finish.

In Asia, a breakaway rarely goes. It's as if every rider wants to be in it so the pace just stays crazy fast for the whole race. In the tour of China, there was one breakaway in 10 days! As a result, I was surprised to find myself in a breakaway in the first 10km of stage 1 of the tour of hainan.

For some reason, the peleton let me go and a China team rider and myself quickly established a gap of 5mins. It was going to be a long day with only two of us in the break, 160km to cover and strong headwinds.

I took the first KOM at 20km before we turned onto the highway and into the wind. At 70km, the China rider took the sprint and the plan was for me to take the second one about 25km later. However, just after the 1st sprint, he punctured, leaving me by myself with a four minute gap riding into the wind.

At the 2nd sprint point, I was cooked. And I mean well-done. I decided to sit up and wait for the bunch as the final 25km included a 9 climb and there was no way I was going to make it alone. When we hit the climb, I went straight out the back.

I crawled up the climb and crept to the finish. I was well and truly spent. My legs were cramping pretty much everywhere and I was very dehydrated. I was told to recover take it easy the next day. Problem was, the next day started with a 9km climb!

I woke up with sore and tired legs. Half way up the climb and my legs gave out. I chased on the descent but was picked up by a group of 20 riders and we had to ride the 150km by ourselves to the finish. Now I am even more wrecked. Thankfully, tomorrow is flat and I can finally have a chance to take it easy! (All 165km of it!)

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