Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tour of japan stage 4

Today was an absolute dusy!! Not only did our 2 kings of chinese cycling, pengda and xu gang finish 2nd and 3rd respectively they achieved it on what can only be described as the most incredible racing circuit created for a bike race. Measuring 12km in length and climbing 400m in altitude each lap, it is not only never , and I repeat never flat but also you are never not turning a corner!! As nasty as it sounds it is a purpose built circuit for rd cycling apart of the japanese cycling school which also is the base of there world famous keiren school. This is basically where riders are like jockeys who race a series of races where they ride the same bike and wheels and even dress like a jockey. The big draw card of the sport is the millions of dollars which are gambled on the race annually. Amazingly all the corners were incredibly safe and the course flowed remarkably well. So not only did you have to deal with the fatigue but also fight dizziness and motion sickness as even after completing the course 12 times I still had no idea where I was going. Quite an incredible day of racing.

It unfolded nicely how we had planned, a break away went clear early with our powerhouse will clarke inside it providing a great chance for the stage win. The nippo team of the leader were forced to work to keep the time gap to break undercontrol and this gave the 5 of us the luxury of sitting in the bunch and saving our legs in the event will and his breakaway were caught. It was the slowest race I have ever done and in the end the average speed was only 31kmph, also we had climbed 4500m in 140km so it was obviously not the easiest day on the bike despite the slow speed. Non the less it felt easy for us as we could hide in the bunch and eat and drink as the calories were definitely going to be called upon in the final laps should the race light up. And this is what happened, with 3 laps or around 40km to travel the pace ramed up and the group got small but we were all still there. At this point I took the decision to work for adiq for the small bunch sprint should will be caught as he had the best chance of winning. With 15km to race will was caught and I immediately took up the pace making to deter anyone from trying to attack as per our plan. With about 10km to race will felt the pace was a little to solid and adiq was suffering a bit so I stopped riding and as I swung off my ever alert chinese team mate pengda had not heard will and assume I was finished and shot out of the bunch that quick that I could not even tell if it was one of our riders or not!! I had not seen him all day and after just 20km he had been dropped but being the incredible fighter he is he hung tuff and was now leading the race with 8km to travel. He was soon joined by a few more including our other chinese rider at the race xu gang and fivesome formed the group that would ultimately contest for the stage victory. Back in the bunch us five now played policemen and bullied anyone who attempted to ride across to ensure our men had there chance for glory. In the end they were outclassed by the most successfull and experience professional from the asia region, kam po wong, however mopping up 2nd and 3rd was still a great days work for the champion system team. Meanwhile in the bunch I again took to the front with 1km to go to lead out adiq as had been planned for the win however this time for 6th place which he easily took and with all 6 of our riders ultimately finishing in the top 20 it was a great days racing for our you team. Certainly the best team performance to date so great to see our constant improvement.

One more stage to go tomorrow on the streets of down town tokyo which will be awersome so we will be looking to set up our malaysian missile for the sprint which we are confident he can suck all there helmets of in!!

From tokyo

Cjw


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