Tour of Thailand, Stage 1, 2013
Hot, flat, fast, hot, & 38c the average temperature and super humid. The three laps of 40km’s where contested at an average of 43.5km/hr. These aspects barely reflect the difficulty facing the riders, more accurately reflective of this effort a comparison of my HR/Power ratio, usually around 2.1 for these type of events, today was around 1.7, meaning 1.7w/hr contraction. This equates to a 20% loss in efficiency. A massive reduction in output owing to the heat and conditions.
After a big lead out for Satalyst-Giant’s go-to man Paul Van de Ploeg, most of the guys involved were cooked which facilitated the significant break for the day. With Paul in the break of 16, we had to push on for better representation, but the break was gone despite 2hrs of peloton-chasing.
Paul consolidated his great ride with a massive push to the line to only get rolled in the final 30m by the fast finishing Rico Rogers, another quality Australian rider. For our first outing as a team unit the guys rode really well: in most breaks, rode as a central unit, looked out for each other, etc etc.
Now the hard work begins in attempting to gain time in the sprint bonus, or in a break, to leap frog into first. What awaits, potentially, for the Giant Satalyst riders is 5 long days of chasing yellow after Paul’s brilliant ride to second on the stage, second overall and wearer of the Green sprint jersey.
Very rarely do riders get the chance to totally empty themselves on the front of a bike race for no other reason than to ride for another GC rider, but this week could provide opportunity for the team to experience a great deal of suffering for a common cause….
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