Distance: 146 miles
Work: 5006 kJ
Maximum Power: 748W
Average Power: 169W
Maximum Speed: 35.4 mph
Average Speed: 17.2 mph
Maximum HR: 168
Average HR: 170
TSB Today: -34.5
ATL Today: 154.5
CTL Today: 99.4
Long stage today and pretty eventful, all safely completed which is the main thing. Weather very mixed, very windy again with a starting temperature of about 4 degrees and we started once again in heavy rain. Weather improved during the day and the finish was warm and sunny though still windy, but at least a tail wind.
Another rider has apparently been taken to the hospital for treatment after a crash. A rider misjudged a corner and hit the side of a bridge and took, I understand, 4 other rider down with him. It's all so unnecessary in an event like this, it's not as if we are trying to secure pro contracts for the 2010 season!
I was riding very comfortably with group 2 when, damn and blast, I punctured. Following a cold, wet, and mucky repair aided by the mechanic who turned up I restarted. The mechanic asked whether I would like a lift back the group which I accepted and hopped in. Been in the van for just a mile or 2 when a lone rider ahead I spotted was my mate David who had kindly held back from the group once he knew I had a problem – chapeau! Hopped out of the van and David put in a terrific effort and after a few miles we ended up joining group 3 and rode with them to the feed stop. Really well organised group and we rolled into the feed station just about 5 minutes after the second group which was very surprising as we hadn't been pushing hard.
Groups 2 and 3 were merged for the last section and in spite of the plan for the groups to ride in together the pace was soon up and riders were being shed from the back. Was pleased with my run in and finished with the leading few riders without having to make a "proper" sprint effort, just kept pushing on and didn't seem to run out of steam at all.
Decent meal at the hotel and the usual recovery drinks and we will see how tomorrow goes, at least it's not so far to ride, "just" 100+ miles again. As a training and testing event this tour has worked well and has already proved to my satisfaction that one can successfully train indoors over the Winter and ride well in the early season in a hard endurance event, no more long cold Winter riding for me. My current position in terms of fitness is fine in terms of the 2010 Tour Ride, and I'll be about 5 kilos lighter then, and rested.
Steady away again tomorrow and at least the forecast looks better.