05 March 2008

Giro Stage 2

Stage two was a 147km, three lap affair around Durbanville and the dreaded Vissershok climb.
After yesterdays absolute dominance by Barloworld everyone was weary this morning and wondering what would happen. I was expecting an early break to go, lots of guttering on the second and third lap and then broken riders coming home in drips and drabs. This would ahve been the case had the wind ever picked up like it was forecasted but instead it all remained calm and there were only three attempts at guttering (all at different points throughout the circuit).
After learning my lesson yesterday (again) I stayed wide awake and at the front of the bunch waiting for the action that never really happened. A break went in the first 10km's and I was very keen on being in it. Unfortunately the gap I was about to take was shut and I was cut off, left to sit in the bunch. At the time I thought it was a blessing in discuise but turns out it was not as the break was never to be seen again, staying away until the end.
Back in the bunch things were only really dangerous a few times, including up Vissers. The first time was a slow ride but nr two and three were feisty affairs and I bit the bullet and went over the top in about 7th and 3rd position on the last two laps. Both times I hoped to keep the small and select group away but a bigger group reformed on both occasions. After the third summit it was a quick dive down into Durbanville for the sprint where I placed somewhere at the top end of 10th, including the breakaway riders in front that should give me a top 20 for the day and hopefully move me up from 31st in GC.
As for the Nam team, Mannie and Marc had really good rides, only fading a little bit the last time up Vissers. Lotto took a bit more strain and finished a bit further off the pace after not making it back to the bunch after lap 2. Arno became a DNF after his chest issue worsened overnight and he pulled out. A great pity as we are now down to 4 of the original 6 man team. At least spirits are still high and we are looking forward to the rest of the tour!

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