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Friday, April 29, 2011
Stage 6 turkey
After the highs of stage 5 everything came crashing down yesterday. Along with the race leader thomas peterson i cracked big time on the final major climb of the tour under the pressure of attacks from the french fdj team. I had been optimistic about my chances on the climb of defending my position but early in the stage i was feeling like the energy levels where not quite right and although i tried to force down the carbs for fuel as soon as it was time to push i was in serious difficulty and by the top of the climb i was only seeing white and grey and no colour so the classic signs of a serious blow up. I recovered a little along with peterson the race leader and along with my very trusty and faithful team mate francesco belloti and another garmin rider we tried to bridge to the lead group which was now 30 riders so was always going to be difficult to peg back firstly without tom and i offering much fire power and with the 3rd 4th and 5th riders on gc all dropping us on the climb they had bridged to the days main breakaway of 20riders and they had alot of horse power. We pushed hard all for the final 40km but in the end lost 2min and tom and i slipped to 4th and 5th respectively. I have to complement the other riders for seeing us in difficulty and tightening the rachet and they certainly showed they were much stronger and smarter than us on the day. So my first opportunity to defend a gc position did not really go according to plan but we all have bad days on the bike and unfortunately for me i had mine when i really needed to be the strongest i have ever been. Knowing i have not done the work required to be in that condition gives me some confidence that i will certainly gain good condition as was the only target i had for the race but still i am dissapointed and realise that perhaps my relaxed attitude toward the race perhaps finally caught me out yesterday. Nutrition and eating enough and the right things is usually a good aspect of my preperation and racing so i need to go back and have a good look at this and try and ensure next time i find myself in a good situation in a race i dont waste that opportunity. Still two days to go and no doubt there is still more fireworks to come so will keep the head down and see what i can do.