Tour de Kärnten 2014 – Stage 6

The last day of the tour and just a 20 km time trial to go. I started off at 10 am amongst the aero bikes and people in aero gear. I was quite happy with how things went except for just before the turn around where a truck overtook me, then proceeded to drive slowly, then stopped in the middle of the road. I had to stop too before edging my way past. This cost me a good 10 seconds at least…

After the race it was off to Slovenia.

 

Tour de Kärnten 2014 – Stage 5

Stage 5 of the Tour.

My legs were kaputt. I was happy that after the neutralised start the pace didn’t pick up much for the first few kms. However, we arrived at the first climb after a  while and I struggled. I lost a lot of ground but sprinted onto the back of a bunch at the first small respite in the climb. Then I tried to play catch up for a bit but it didn’t work and I continued riding with the bunch.

I rode the rest of the race trying to conserve the strength in my legs. We turned off the main road and headed the last 20 km towards the finish line. It was another super sunny day so there was much sweating as we climbed the wee power climbs (without power) and rode the flatter sections. At one stage the front of the group broke away and I was left in the middle with another guy. We worked together and managed to bridge the gap. On one corner we saw a large bunch in front of us but they were at the top of a climb and we had no chance of catching them.

Before the finish there are a few kms of descent. Nobody wanted to work so close to the finish. I didn’t either but found myself on the front. I decided to attack and nobody followed, but I couldn’t keep up the pace and near the end was caught up to, then the rest of the bunch that we had dropped caught us up 1 km before the finish. It was another hill finish and I used the last of my legs to sprint the last 50 m to keep the majority of the bunch away.

Another good race. Luckily there’s just a short TT tomorrow.

Tour de Kärnten 2014 – Stage 4

Another day of great weather. Today’s stage was the Dach der Tour an 80 km jaunt with approximately 2000 vertical metres. I arrived at the start late and was stuck at the back for the first neutralised section. They had announced a new rule – no overtaking while neutralised. This was a bit of a pain as when the race started I had to ride hard to pass a  bunch of people, wait while everyone squeezed past a truck parked on the other side of the road, etc. etc. But anyway my legs were tired so riding in a slower group wouldn’t be so bad I thought.

After the first set of hills I was in a group of perhaps 10. We could see the next group in the distance but we weren’t getting much closer. At some point one rider attacked and as he passed me at the front of the bunch signaled that I should follow. I sprinted onto his wheel and we rode like crazy leaving the group behind and bridging over to the next group in about 10 minutes.

I stuck with Martin in the next group until the next hill where the bunch broke up. I was with the main group at the front and we climbed to the highest point before beginning a hair razing descent on poorly sealed road. The guy I had attacked with earlier rode far too fast into a corner, locked his back wheel up and slid into the side barrier breaking his bike frame but not hurting himself. We rounded the next bend to see another guy staggering across the road after apparently riding into another barrier. We rode a little more carefully for the rest of the descent.

Martin and I were the first to reach the bottom of the descent from our group and we ended up riding with about 5 others to the bass of the last climb. I couldn’t keep up the pace for this climb and rode at my own snail’s pace in the hot sun to the top.

A very nice stage.

Leonie and I lazed around at the camp ground in the afternoon.