The tour of poland continued its voyage through the italian dolomites today. On the menu was 3 major climbs and 4500m of elevation gain with the finish atop the famed passo pordoi. In the end the victory went to a survivor of the days early breakaway and none other than christophe riblon who can add italy's famed mountain stage victory to his alp d'huez victory in the recent tour de france. What a couple of weeks he has had.
For the cannondale boys the plan was just like yesterday, give ivan the best chance to improve on his GC position. Paterski put himself in the days breakaway and put up a great fight in his homeland tour! He would eventually be reeled in on the final climb but showed some very strong signs of big improvements heading toward the vuelta.
For the rest of us we just stayed in the bunch and ensured ivan was well looked after. The first 50km were downhill and again this speed really made me suffer, it was a very silly mistake to rock up to a world tour race having not done and speed work for so long and I paid for it big time today. That's ok though, its an easy thing to get back and this race will go a long way toward achieving that so no stress for now. Ratto put us in a perfect position for the first climb and from that moment I don't think I even moved further back than 5th wheel all day until my very un ceremonios explosion as we hit the days final climb. I felt great again on the first 2 climbs and feel like I am pedalling the best I ever have, just lacking the spark of the race rhythm. I don't know what caused my sudden explosion, probably a mix of things, lack of food obviously, lack of racing, and probably just the body not adapted to such a hard day in the heat. One things for sure I have not felt that bad in the final km's of a race for a long long time so I definitely gave myself a far old hammering these past couple of days, still knowing how little work I have done I cannot be disappointed, I simply have to be patient. Anyways the strangest thing was until about 30seconds before I had to put up the white flag I felt awesome so I know my good level is not far away.
Ivan continues to show that he is building up for a big final part of the season and stayed with the best riders on the pordoi. I was I could have been of some assistance again but was unfortunately further back than full back when he needed me today, I will make up for it during the next week. The day in the bunch was a little more social than yesterday so was great to catch up with the aussies. A couple from blanco, garmin and greenedge has given the peleton a good bit of aussie flare which is always nice. Off course a race with wiggo would not be complete without a bit of a discussion about our assault on the leightweight double scull at the 2020 olympics, that always gives us somthing to laugh about and have a little fun thinking about during the duller moments in the race.
Another great thing to see in these first 2 stages has been the columbian team really taking the bull by the horns and trying set up there climber ata puma for a stage win. While they have not got there win they certainly have gained even more respect from the peleton for there hard riding and commitment to ensuring the race is hard so hats off to them. The heat and course has certainly taking the edge of the group so will be interesting to see how all recover for the final 5 days of racing. The circuits are hilly and hard and are certain to make for some very exciting racing.
So our time in italy for this years tour of poland has come to and now we are on the bus to the airport to head of to the real home of the race, that place being krakow poland. I would say I have a test in the first couple of days so will now look to improve my marks throughout the rest of the week.
Time 6hrs 10min
Average Heart rate 140
Average power 255
Kcal's burnt 6700
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