Crocodile Trophy – day 4 – Atherton to Atherton
The Atherton Gun club was the centre of the action for today’s stage. The start and finish of yesterday’s stage would be the start and finish for today’s gruelling climbing fest to the top of the Great Dividing Range. The organisers suggested that today’s stage would be a tough one with 2200Vm of climbing through the Herberton Range State Forest. All in all a lovely day out in the saddle, surprisingly with a cool 18 degrees start.
From the point the gun went off, the Elite men sprinted off and started the ~ 10km climb to the top of the Great Dividing Range, with Ivan Rybarik, Cory Wallace and Greg Saw leading having an early breakaway from the pack.
….. Ivan I try attack close after start, because yesterday bad luck stage was inspired me to try win today stage. Unfortunately on the top of first climbing my front Rubena got slowly low pressure and I had stop and fix it. Third day with technical problems on Croc trophy pushed my moral power really down and I just finished stage like a training. Hopefully tomorrow I can show much better results than today.
Race started in unusually slow manner. I still felt pain in my legs from stage 2 so I have decided to ride in my own pace and not to follow first breakaway. First break was launched by Ivan Rybarik after 3km in the race, but no one have decided to follow. We hit the first climb and field stared to split up. I rode together with Andrew Hall, Yuki Ikeda and couple of other riders. We rode together until first feed station, where I put little gap on the small bunch of ours. Bunch caught up within 5 km and we rode together until around 40km in the race where all the climbing have started again. We have split into single riders and from this point of time I was on my own leaving the bunch behind. After second feed station all climbing started again and I saw David Rosa ahead of me and Jiri Krivanek approaching from the back. I have tried to keep my pace and rhythm to the end of the race finishing 7th behind David Rosa. Jiri Krivanek arrived into the finish less than 1 minute behind.
Tomorrow it is the hardest stage so we will see how my legs going to feel.
I was feeling strong today, was hilly stage.in the first long hill I staying in the group with 4 riders till first feed station, after crossing the highway I was make a little gap and after 3 km solo ride, puncher my rear tyre and lost some time for the following riders, but change was fast and I started chase group and rode with them till 40 km of the stage when I still felt strong and fast and made the final break till finish line and cut off some time for my team mate Andy Lloyd. I was 13th overall and 1st in my cat.today.
As I began to climb the first hill I could feel my legs would take a while to warm up so I stayed at a steady pace. I rode most of the stage with Michal Kafka until we hit another large climb around 40km. At this point I found a nice tempo so I put my head down and tried to catch some time back on Jindra Knot. Before the final climb I had a caffeine gel for some extra energy as we still had about 1 hour left to climb and a long fast downhill. I lost a lot of time to Jindra today but I still hold the overall A1 category position.
I was feeling good on first hill, staying behind Andy Lloyd to the top. Than on 35th km we followed sing Turn here, which tour out to be wrong decision. Riding 5km extra did not help me, I was running low on gels and water. About 10km from 2nd feed station, I was counting every single meter. Finally I arrived to the bottom of our last climb, where the 2nd feeding station was set up. I took my time and ate as much gel and fruit as I could. My way up was slow and painful, but managed to get over the hill and on the way down also past some slower riders. With King stage ahead I am trying eat and rest as much as possible. In A2 category I am currently on 7th position.
decided the strategy was to not overcook the legs on the first climb and set a steady but reasonable pace up the first climb. With the A3 category being the largest group of the Croc, there was plenty of opportunity to overtake the competition. It worked quite well, with a few A3 ‘mates’ not giving in too soon. Up the last climb on the way back, I squeezed the last bits of energy out of the legs with the knowledge that the last 10km was downhill only, ending up in 12th spot in the A3 category.