Inside Georgia Stage 2: Flat and Flat Out
Who ever said this Tour was flat obviously did the course in a car. We went straight out of town and the first attack came within a kilometre. For the next 70km that was how the race went. We averaged 50km for the first 70km…..unbelievable.
So saying that, there were no breakaways. Just guys trying to ride off the front at 60km/h, holding it for about 500 metres then exploding.
With the undulating roads though, it was hard enough and when we hit the climb at 126km, Chris Horner from Saturn attacked at the base. Luckily I had worked my way up to a good position near the front, because I lost the wheel in front of me on the climb and slowly drifted back through the field. I just hung on over the top and took a breather on the long 80km/h descent.
By now it was evident the stage would finish in a bunch sprint. The Navigator train got back on the front and took us to the outskirts of Columbus. A few teams tried to break clear in the last 30km, but they were basically wasting their time and effort. It was one of those days where it was easy when you were on the wheel, but as soon as you stepped off and tried to move up it hurt like hell.
A few of the guys on the team were feeling the pinch today – me included, so trying to organize a lead out for the finish was a lost cause. I had my confidence back today in the finale and moved into a reasonable position with 500 metres to go, but without anyone to do that big effort in the wind for me I pretty much stayed where I was.
In the end it was Italy’s Moreno Di Biase that claimed stage honours in a frenetic sprint to the line.
Overall it was another good day for Flanders-iteamNova. Although no-one made it to the podium, nobody lost time and our GC riders were comfortable during the stage.
Today’s graph only had a few kinks in it compared to Saturday’s so with some tired bike riders around, the worst is yet to come …..
Rider Diaries provided courtesy of Flanders-iteamNova. Check out the official website for FLANDERS-ITEAMNOVA.COM more info on the team.