Another race on the Swiss National Calender, at least this time it was a normal Elite race and not handicap, which meant proper racing instead of confusing tactics and being told to hold back (where's the excitement in that?).
We took the 250km, 4 hour drive to Fully on Saturday, taking the shortcut along the narrow lake side roads and over the massive Simplon pass. Everyone was very happy when we booked into a familiar hotel and tucked into a very good looking dinner. Pasta, potatoes, steamed veggies galore, chicken and pasta sauce. At the time I could not have asked for more. Leaving the hotel at 4.30 the next morning in order to make the early start I started wondering though...
With a slow drizzle and the sun still hiding behind the mountains we set off at a fast pace and after Jaro and Konrad's two attacks were unsuccessful I tried and managed to get away with two other riders. We immediately opened up a huge gap which was surprising but as we got to the 2km hill (nasty bugger but not a killer) I could not hold the guys wheel (other breakaway companion had blown by then already). I dropped. Stunned.
Around about this stage I started picking up how my stomach's rumblings grew louder and louder.
I hung around for a while and managed to get myself into the big split of the day but was suffering big time. Hanging on for dear life on the climb and in the gutter, watching in dismay as Jacques Janse van Rensburg (riding for the UCI Academy) went down the road on his own for a while. At the time a 'normal' move seemed inhumane to me.
Even though the team was sitting pretty with our five strongest riders in the 25 man break things were going backwards. Ben was dq'ed after getting help from the cars after a puncture, while Jaro, Konrad and myself were fading fast. Matteo, the goat/mountain man who can eat rocks if he likes was unaffected. Of course. So he was left to do his own thing as with one lap to go the combined Namibian and Polish forces retreated in full force.
Matteo was able to finish in the group behind the lone winner and get a decent fifth place while the rest of us were headed for the showers.
Even Davide (manager) was struck by the dodgy pasta sauce so there were not too many hard feelings going around. Also thanks to Steven, our team mate in the Amateur ranks, things were a little rosier as he was able to win his race solo!
Now all is better and I for one am hoping to make up for a really disappointing race!