Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tour of PEI Stage 4

My adoptive team MTN Energade almost won the race today. I can't tell you how exciting it was. After some hard racing that included pressure by a long break of Natasha Elliot and a Quebec rider and some attacking by others teams including us, Carla and Marissa got away on a QOM. They were in a small group at first, then another few came across to make a force of about 10. For maybe 20 minutes the gap was hovering around 30 seconds. Chase was full bore but teams were getting fried, and honestly, the elastic had snapped. I even overheard as much from another team director. Then suddenly, just as it looked like the break was gone - 50 seconds and Carla would have moved into 1st on GC - Carla and another rider crashed in the break. The field saw it on a hill. And just like that the gap came down and the break was caught. Raced hard to the end but it ended as a bunch sprint. QOM won. So close but a great day of racing, with the notable exception of losing the team's sprinter to a crash (her second in two days). Still in disbelief I have legs. Hard race but nowhere near as hard as yesterday. Long portions of the race spent sitting on the chase, then some hard parts. But no echelons and no time riding in the caravan, much less steep and less incessant hills. Could actually take the hands off the bars to drink and eat. Lobster feast after the race and now we are in Charlottetown for tomorrow's crit. Time for a non-Euro to win a road/crit stage - how about a South African or at least a North American!?

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