Far out, the last day of 5 Passes has been and gone… Its always mixed emotions at the end of a Stage race, you massively want it to end physically, but you want that great road trip and every day race feeling to rock on. Well, I can absolutely assure you that my legs were fucking gagging for it to end today! So much so, they basically pulled the pin early on in the day…
For those of you that have been to Arthurs Pass, you may be thinking “How the fuck would they accommodate over 100 people there?!”, the answer is simple: Micro rooms. But, for me there was massive upside, bunk beds! Choice. Here Angus displays the correct approach to managing mini accom, taking the chance to get his daily Dirty Nomad fix whilst taking in some of the Gel inspired toxic air circulating through the smallest accom ever seen at a stage race:
On to today then and the final day, 128km’s back to CHCH. We were looking at two Open Road Racings stages, a long transition and then a final countdown with a Team Time Trial to end the Tour. Logan decided that his best tactic for going after KOM points was to finger Garfield for brekkie…. Mmmmm… Warm:
Clearly it worked out for him, I shall elaborate later… Todays tactics were a complete change from yesterday. Today we would attack from the timing mat, as opposed to waiting for a few KM’s up the road. Power Pete was straight out of the gate, with another epic explosion, with me having a crack every time he was reeled back in… And so on and so forth this went… and probably explains why the first 10km’s had an average speed of about 44Kph. Sure, it was gradually downhill and rolling, but there was NO fucking around here. It was full gas and full on.
I could tell that I was in strife from my first few attacks of the day, but I wanted to shake it up as much as possible for one of the boys to get away. Finally Pete got away into the right break and I tried to hang on with legs that felt like they had cement replacing the muscle tissue. I was yo yoing like kids snot and having to chase back on constantly. Finally, I was done… 22km’s into the stage and I was fucked.
There is a simple fact about stage racing: If you want to attack constantly and go up the road, don’t expect to finish in the bunch.
Ok, so, I had expected to last a bit longer today, but I was empty. The upside, it was scenery appreciation and photo time! Yay. And, far the fuck out, it was the PERFECT day for it to:
But, as luck would have it, because misery loves company, GV happened to catch up to me after he had been dropped due to chain dramas:
Unfortunately I was too fucked to even ride with GV, so on he went while I did my best trying to crash while getting my winter gloves off to take photos (for those shaking their heads, chasing on was not an option!), at least those were good results:
On paper – This was the worst morning of cycling I have ever had… What stopped that from being mad official and passed into the archives? 3 simple things:
- The scenery – This was the most impressive so far on the tour in my books, amazing
- The weather – If it had been raining, I would have been in the car getting an early start on todays post, as it turned out, today was the best day so far
- The boys – An awesome bunch of lads to race with
More evidence of the scenery being world freaking class, this from the stop between stages:
It was time for another team talk and to make an adjustment to tactics:
The last open stage for the final TTT was only 17km’s long, simple right? Well, unfortunately for me it went straight up… So I went straight out the ass doing my best impersonation of a cycling turd. I honestly have never felt so empty, I even rode better at Thailand when I had food poisoning and fever! At least for this liaison I had Power Pete with me, so we took turns to grind our way up to Porters pass. But, I again cracked in the last 2km’s and this is the shot of Pete floating away:
Its on this above section of road that Logan stepped up and delivered another Rivet daily win, he smashed away to take the KOM!! Excellent work and validation that his liaison with Garfield at Brekkie paid big dividends…
I will admit, when I got to the top of Porters I really just wanted it to be over. The problem there was there was the slight issue of a 40km neutral section and then the rather hideous 21km Team Time Trial to come, so I was NOT done just yet. But, I would need reinforcements. Cue the dairy BRO:
Lunch was Riveting… Clearly no one was keen to move. Grass, sun shining, absolutely fucked:
As you will note, today consisted of the VERY odd contrast of trying to rip the balls off our competitors or lazily lying around in the grass telling fart jokes:
To make sure that we were FULLY prepared for the TTT, Angus went to talk to our competitors about conditions. Being good c*nts that they are, they cautioned him about the aggressive Magpie community that lined the course. When he enquired how to deal with this, they outlined the importance of placing Zip Ties in your helmet. Angus therefore complied:
Yes, there was abuse and I even refused to start the TTT with those fucking things protruding from his head!! When we finally did get underway, Ben and Angus did their best to commit Nomadicide, hitting and holding 50kph for sustained periods. I had to actually yell at myself to keep in the line up… They were absolute beasts and GV and I chipped in where we could. How hard was it? It was 21km’s at an average speed of 46.1Kph for a time of 28.19… Great work lads! It basically broke me, but a great way to finish a 610km race:
An awesome effort by the boys – We now have a huge reputation for attacking… and attacking… And then when no one wanted us to, to attack again. We certainly made it exciting and each day someone came away with a points win or a major breakaway story, so a great tour lads! An awesome tour debut for Rivet Racing!
The other upside of such a ridiculously long race? When I uploaded to Strava I noticed that I was now #1 in the monthly Strava challenge, ever so briefly! First time I have been in the lead all week (once again, virtually). Not a lead I intend to try and retain given I won’t touch my bike until the Bintan TT:
Just one Dirty public service announcement today – To the Redneck Cuntabrian drivers who tried to run us over or who shouted abuse at us when we were riding from the race finish back to the Hotel, if you’re not too busy putting on your sister make up for a date (with your sister), then you may want to consider moving to Singapore based on your driving quality… Lots of Asian people there as well, which I know you’ll all love.
So, that’s it from Char Char, back to SG tomorrow and then I intend to sleep for the rest of the week before I head to Bintan… Oh… Yay… Another HARD stage race.