Today's stage of catalyuna was a pretty straight forward bunch sprint won by pettachi from lampre. My job today was just to keep ivan protected from the wind and out of trouble to ensure he is fresh as possible for tomorro. Being early in the tour and it being a relatively easy stage with a small break going and heavily controled by the bunch. It did mean however everybody was fresh at the finish so a lot more argy bargy but just somthing you need to get used to again. An interesting thing for me today was the finish of the race in the town of benyolas which was the site of the 1992 olympic games rowing regatta. We did 4 circuits around the city and lake so I finally got to have a good look at the site where a major role model and great friend of mine, stephen hawkins and his partner peter antonie took the gold medal in arguably the most impressive rowing performance in the history of the sport. Basically 2 lightweights who took on the might and power of the heavyweight rowers in an event dominated by europeans and they won. There phenominal power to weight and technique is still used today as a bench mark and reference in the sport of rowing in australia. I have had the honor of having a special friendship with the hawkins family and was great to see the place where stephen became apart of sporting history in australia. His performance in the 92 olympics has certainly been a major motivator for me over the years in rowing and even now in cycling I often draw on his achievement for motivation particularly when the odds seem stacked against me. I certainly look forward verymuch to our golf outings these days and always learn something new from arguably one of australia's greatest ever athletes.
So tomorrow is off to the mountaintop finish in andora so I am looking forward to that and seeing basso go up against contador, cadel and michele scarponi, should be an exciting stage.
Now its time for a massage, some fuel in the tank and a lot of relaxing
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