Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Tour of Dorset 2010 Road stage race. 1st Overall (Yellow Jersey) 1st Overall Points (Green Jersey competition) Winner of Stage 3‏

This weekend was my final few days off running to let my Achillies heal properly, and so i thought I'd carry on my big cycling push by joining my Cannondale team mates at the Tour of Dorset.

I love stage races and find that they generally give me great form, so this was an ideal build up for the Xterra world champs 9 weeks away.

Stage 1 was a short Prologue time trial and I finished in 8th place, joint on time with my Cannondale team mate Mike Cotty. We were less than 30 seconds off the Leader. It was decided that we'd share the leadership and try to get in breaks on the next flat stage.

Stage 2. Points and bonus seconds were awarded every lap on the finish line. After several breaks, it looked like it would all come together for a bunch sprint. However 2 riders clipped off the front and gained almost a minute and became 1st and 2nd overall. I got a break midway through the stage and gained a 5 second bonus and some points towards the Green Jersey. However I lost 10 seconds as a penalty for crossing the white line on the road (oops). GC position 12th.

Stage 3. This is where it all happened. The finish line is at the end of a 2 mile climb, nice! Lap 3 and I launched a solo attack purely to get the 5 second bonus that went with it. After this excursion i went back to the bunch and hid...until... I got in another break of 3 riders and made a deal that I get the sprint points, this got me another 2 laps points, then we got caught by the bunch. With 2 laps to go, the main break went and i'd missed it. I was just getting Cannondale to organise a chase when another rider attacked to try to get across, I jumped on this riders wheel and we worked together until the foot of the climb, the gap was still 200m at this point. It was a now or never moment and I attacked alone to try to get across the final 200m against the group of 7 riders. Slowly inch by inch I got across and on making the junction we worked well and soon were out of sight and we all knew this would decide the race. I got the points yet again on the penultimate lap and coming into the final 5 miles, last years winner Crispin Doyle attacked. No one else responded, so i got across on my own and we pulled out a 30 second gap. On the final climb I dropped Crispin to win by about 10 seconds, taking both the Green and Yellow jerseys.

Stage 4. I basically owe this one to my team mates. They chased down all the important moves and sheltered me through out. In the end it was a bunch sprint which I didn't contest. Mission accomplished.

Sore legs today but hopefully some really good bike form coming. Next weekend I am doing the Torq 12hr enduro with a Team of 4, supported by USE Exposure lights. Then I have got the Vitruvian 1/2 Ironman Road triathlon, which is one of the UK's biggest events and I won in 2005 and haven't come back to race since. Back on the running from today with all eyes on Maui in 9 weeks time.....