I was feeling a little sore after the time trial earlier in the day and the race the day before, so my goal was to stay with the bunch as long as I could and not attempt to waste my energy on any KOMs.
The course was two laps of a ~ 30kms course (the final lap had 5km cut off) then a final 10km ride to the town of Carlsruhe. The KOM climb was about 1/3 the way into the lap.
I stuck to my plan for the first lap, taking the KOM climb steady to save as much energy as I could. The plan went well, I didn't feel drained at all after having ridden a 30km loop.
A few riders went off the front half way through the first lap, the bunch didn't bother with chasing them as none were a huge threat to the GC contention, one of my friends Matt was down over 20 minutes after a mechanical on the first stage, he managed to solo for a lap by himself with a little help from two other riders that caught him part ways through the lap.
Just before the KOM climb on the second lap Matt was reined back into the pack but two other riders remained in front. The pack was going a steady pace but no one seemed overly concerned about the riders that were let go.
After the two laps were complete a 10km home stretch remained, the pace picked up dramatically at this point, four extra riders broke away to form a chase group, I was at the back of the pack at this point just resting and so I didn't notice the move at all, which is a shame.
The peleton pulled me to within 500m of the finish where I jumped early and was able hold my pace all the way to the line. I ended up in 7th place 20 seconds behind the leaders.
I felt very strong at the end and my mistake was that I didn't see the 4 rider group go off the front, those were very strong riders and if I had have seen the move and reacted then I'm confident I would have been able to go with them till the end.
After the stage i'm in 8th place 1 minute 19 seconds down with a single 80km road race remaining tomorrow.
|Average Speed:||34.37 km/h|