Tour du Loir et Cher Stage 5
Yeah! My first result this year and the most important point about this result is the conditions in which I fought for it. Seems like I’m finally starting to cope with bad weather conditions, cold, wind and also a parcour not matching perfectly to my rider characteristics.
The final stage was a city parcour with 13 laps summing up to a total of 94 Kilometers. The finish was on the top of the hill which the city has been build on and the crossing of the river Loir was the connetion point of the two circuits each on every side of the river.
Our primary focus was saving my second place in the overall ranking and the second objective was the stage victory.
A breakaway was released really easy. With 82 riders at the start there weren’t to many colliding interests. Five guys tried their luck and started to fight against the really, really strong wind today. Katusha immediately took over the lead of the peloton and kept a gap of one minute, sometimes more, sometimes a little bit less.
We were going like this for the next 10 laps and at three laps to go, Katusha stopped pacing at the front. They wanted to force us to help them because they knew, we wanted the stage victory. For them, none of the riders in the break was of any danger and their only focus lay in the General Classement. We started pulling with Brambo closing already 20 seconds in maybe a period of 4 kilometers...
When we heared the bell for the last lap, it was just about 10 seconds to the break. We caught them and kept pulling for the bunch sprint. From this point on I knew, I got the second in the classement for sure. Still tough, I was very scared about crashing or something like that. I haven’t ever been so scared in bunchsprint as today...
Brambo pulled really strong for Eugenio and Eugenio unfortunately finished again second. Oh well, maybe I received all the luck from Fortuna for our team...
In conclusion, it’s still surprising myself how well I coped with the awful bad weather. I’m returning from this stage race with lots of good feelings. The team moved even closer together and everybody starts to know the other guys weird attitudes. Problems with selfishness, language and working for the team were discussed as well as the natural mentality differences coming from our totally different countries.
I’m pretty sure, with every race we’ll grow and are able to make results and come closer to victories.
I want to thank the guys also on this occasion for their support and protection of myself. Pretty sure, that nowadays there’s no such thing than a cycling formation when it comes to teamwork and reliability on your teammates.