Ok it wasn’t really the beach, but at times it did feel like it today. To be honest there were a few sense of humour testing moments out there today. A 68km day with 1000m of ascent, on paper and according to a route profile doesn’t sound too drastic.
This brings me onto the first part of my title, relearning an old lesson. What the route profile and distance of the stage doesn’t tell you about is, what the terrain will be like. Never underestimate a race which looks ‘easy’ on paper, an age old mountain biking law. Today it was a tough lesson to learn again. There were a number of kilometres of rough rocky raw single track in the mountains, interconnected with sections of deep sand as we tried to up the pace amongst the vineyards and orchards.
It was a long chase back to the front group for Colin and I today, unfortunately we weren’t able to reel them back in so had to settle for 4th on the stage.
Contego and RSA Web/PSG were the main protagonists on the stage with RSA Web/PSG taking the lead after Contego cut a side wall. Contego were able to re-join the leaders, but it was RSA Web/PSG who won the stage with Contego in second and the youngsters Esterhuyse and Best in 3rd.