08 March 2008

Giro del Capo Stage 3

I am still getting used to my 3G toys so was out of touch for a bit. In the mean time the Giro has come to an end and I have some catching up to do with my storytelling.
Stage 3 170km Paarl - Paarl via Franschoek Pass and du Toit's Kloof
The race started with a bang as everyone tried to get into the break before the first climb. Unfortunately for us everyone had the same idea and we did the 'sprint' to Franschoek at over 48km/h. Once there it was full gas over the climb as the bunch split up and I was left in a small chasing bunch. Fortunately everything came together again as we cruised on towards du Toit's kloof. At the base things were kept under control but as we went through the small tunnel the fun began and the field blew apart.
Having learnt my lesson in the past I immediately moved to the front in the tunnel and came out with the select group at the front but that did not last very long as more attacking saw me pop off the back and 7 riders went ahead.
Fortunately for me Mannie was right ahead of me and as soon as I got onto his wheel he turned on his Diesel engine and started cruising up the hill. Initially we lost ground to the leaders but the higher we went the closer we got to them, eventually catching them just as we started the descent. The new lead group consisted of 12 riders, gelling well until we got within 4km of the line when I 'sort of' gave Mannie a dead wheel and he went solo for a bit. After that chaos broke loose with several people trying to get ahead.  In the end it all stayed together enough to come down to a sprint and I reacted a wee bit too slowly but still came in a respectable 6th. Mannie was not far behind after having a monstrous ride throughout the day, looking after me and bringing me more than 10 bottles throughout the day.
The average temperature was 39 degrees after all!

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