Racing above the clouds was the order of the day for stage 6. 2 mountain passes, 1st of which topped out at 3500m and the second and potentially decisive at 3900m with only a 15km plunge to the line to follow. Still struggling a lot from my diarrhea and tumbling tummy I had one simple objective not to lose anytime. My team mates did a great job keeping the race under control and the pace steady enabling me to save as much energy as possible. It was not until the final few km of the final climb that I had to make some efforts keeping the columbians and Iranians in check but even then still had my super stay team mate pengda(aka Kung Fu panda) to keep me in the front group. Over the climb we were safely in the front group of 15 or so guys and lacking any extra punch I was happy to have stayed at the head of the race. The group swelled a bit on the decent and a bigger group sprinted for the stage and I was quite relieved rolled across the line safely with my gc aspirations still intact. It is a pretty strange feeling racing up that high, you literally have no oxygen so I think I can say I know how 100m sprinters feel who old there breath in the mad dash!! Thing was felt like I had to do it for about 10minutes and must admit the thought of passing out whilst riding a bike had never crossed my mind until yesterday!! Fortunately the decent was pretty straight, any corners and there is a very high probability that i would have completely missed them. Still was a great day and satisfying day to see just what the human body could handle. It is one thing to push yourself to the limit which all athletes can experience but through in onto of that such extreme climate conditions and it is interesting to see just how the system will react. Anyways like so much of this year it has been a great adventure and I am sure plenty more still to come in the final 7 stages still to race here in Qinghai lake.
Time for the circuit race in then Switzerland of china!! Photos and more on that in a later blog