Well, the epicness of doing 5 Passes and Tour OF Bintan is now over and I woke up this morning feeling like I had been on the receiving end of a wookie gang bang. Absolutely smashed to pieces. Still, a good little bonus that I had forgotten about, 2nd in the Green Jersey contest at ToB thanks to break away antics:

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Cleaned up by a little Indonesian kid, but we’ll take second…

Unfortunately while there was a $400 prize for first, there was approx $0.00 for 2nd. Very much an ALL or nothing competition then. I could have used that money to pay for my Physio bill from today! The battle has definitely left its wounds (emotional and physical).

Waking up this morning without a bike race to prepare for was an odd sensation to be honest, I am stoked that I don’t have to ride today, but after being on tour I do miss the getting up to talk absolute shit with the boys aspect that is part of life on a stage race. So, a big thanks to my team mates over the last 10 days for the good times. Like I always preach, its about the people you do this stuff with that counts… Especially when you’ve finished the day, its key to sit around and take the piss out of all the cunts you’ve encountered throughout the stage…. Ahhh, good times. Munmanana manananananan (trust me, it NEVER gets old).

Let’s have a bit of a look at some of the numbers ridden and raced from Tuesday 29 October (first shake down ride in CHCH) until yesterday (final stage of ToB):

  • 1,017km’s ridden
  • 33 hours and 40 mins on the bike
  • 8,315m climbed
  • 3 different time zones

Yeah, so that should explain why I feel totally munted today and can’t feel my balls (but thank fuck they are intact, unlike some who shall remain nameless), but the numbers don’t really tell the full story, it certainly has been a period of massive contrasts. From this road on Monday last week:

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Dropped and quite cold…

To this on Saturday:

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Dropped and so hot I may actually die…

Forget the 20 degs temperature difference, its been a huge change in racing style, terrain and objectives. So what’s the one thing I have learned over this period? Well, there are a few, but this is the main one:

As a cyclist, everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Some people can REALLY TT or they can REALLY climb or REALLY sprint. I don’t mean that you think you’re good at any one of these things, I mean you can really do them and you’re clearly better than your peers in doing so.

Well, I have worked out that I am not really strong in the TT… I can’t really climb like the true climbers and I don’t pack a punch in the sprint. But, it turns out that I am able to readily sacrifice myself like a 1941 Russian solider in a break away. Don’t worry, I am not about to label myself a ‘break away specialist‘, that would earn me a turd badge, but I do get the concept of team work and as such I am more than happy to be up the road representing the team and doing my bit. In fact, if I hadn’t done that both days over ToB it would have felt a bit boring in the end to be honest.

Sure, you do run the risk of getting slaughtered and dropped (I am 3 from 3 on that front), but at least you are featuring and one day, just one day it may actually stick… The Peloton may fuck up the chase, you may have one of those amazing days where you can’t feel the chain and the impossible dream may become a reality… Who knows? Well, you will never find out unless you are prepared to ride 60km’s solo after you’ve been vaporised like a peloton poo. In the famous words of one of the worlds foremost assassins:

“Its better to give it everything and die a hero than hide like a pussy”

Never a truer word spoken…

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