So yeah, I missed the start today. It isn’t QUITE as bad as it sounds, and I am sure some of you out there are shaking your heads. If I may point out, I was with Cancellara coming back through the cars in the neutral… It happens often that riders miss the start, just has never happened to ME before.
A little background that allowed me to do this: we had an 8.9km neutral today, where the peloton rides along at a slow pace, parading through the town we start in. There is no attacking in the neutral, nothing really happens at all, besides nature breaks and mechanical changes. ALSO, there are about 50+ cars that follow us who provide draft for a quick return to the peloton. So there was no panicking on my part, or anyone’s part that I had ground to make up.
I was late because I needed to stop at the car to get a magnet on my front wheel for my SRM’s speedometer to work. No matter. On my way through the caravan (the name for the 50+ cars behind the pack), I decided to get a bit of fishnet around my calf and knee to make sure the bandages I had on from my previous crash didn’t fall off and expose my wounds to the scorching sun. I rode up to a medics car, struggled a bit to get the message of what I needed across, but finally, after some heated pointing, was all set and back to making my way to the peloton.
And then I almost crashed. Just a side note, all of this has happened before or in the neutral 8.9km of a stage that don’t even COUNT to the total of the 163km we had to then complete. Eventful.
I almost crashed the same way I crashed the other day. I approached a 90 degree left turn at a speed I felt was comfortable and must’ve hit another patch of oil because my front wheel slipped out and by some divine intervention regained its grip. I came out of the corner thanking my lucky stars and let out a huge sigh of relief, that would not have been good.
I made it to the group just as the neutral was over and suffered at the back while attacks flew off the front. I accepted my fate of being at the back and staying at the back and I just tried to keep a rhythm. Before I knew it the break was gone and the day’s most relaxing part could begin. After the break goes the peloton sits up and relaxes for anywhere between 5 and 45 minutes.
My job on the day was to save my energy and that is what I did. Approached the first climb of the day at the back and promptly got dropped with some big sprinters like Cav and Kittel, as well as the likes of Tony Martin. We rolled in to the finish 12 mins down.
Tomorrow is going to suck, 30km climb right off the bat. I don’t wanna think about it…bye!