Tour of Thailand, Stage 5 and 6.
The fifth stage was largely uneventful, 200km’s of mainly flat/slightly undulating terrain, with a small break of 7 riders moving out to 7mins. The GC team again controlled the race with several other teams.
The final hour saw another 3 teams contributed to the chase as the speed lifted considerably. Due to this format of racing everyone was fresh for the final sprint, a potentially dangerous outcome. With the final kilometres remaining we began our push forward, with each Satalyst-Giant rider looking for the other.
With around 3km’s remaining, we had formed our own train: myself, Pete, Alex and Paul. I was first off the rank, and managed to deliver Pete, Alex and Paul to the kilometre mark, having covered 900m in the minute spent on the front left gutter of the peloton. The boys proceeded to pull at a slightly higher pace, with Alex finally dropping Paul off at 150m to go where he ran second and 4th on the stage as the two riders had manage to maintain their lead from the early break.
A fantastic team effort here, one of the better lead-out’s I have been a part of. Paul had managed to snatch the green jersey and thus we had two jerseys now in our possession.
The sixth Stage was a shorter one to Phuket, 105km’s, with an initial climb followed by some small undulations. Due to this stage being the last attempt for any victory, the whole S-G team rose to the occasion.
We had all warmed up, as though it were a time trial, for the effort. Collectively we were on the front foot as Henry, then Paul proceeded to attempt to get away, with Alex and Peter contributing to the attacks. Eventually, I managed to ride clear after we had exited a narrow tow centre whilst ascending a small rise.
Eventually several riders came across until eventually 27 formed the front break. Unfortunately Paul had not made the split, with Henry and Alex driving the group hard forward in an attempt to bridge the front group.
Peter and I just followed here as the front group was driven out by the Hong Kong team. Eventually the group had a 3min+ time gap as moves again began to ride clear of this selection. I suggested t Pete, now would be a good opportunity for attack after a small break had been reeled in and he was off, clear of the 27man field.
Eventually several other riders went clear and made a 30second move with 10km’s remaining. This group made it to the finish were a 5man sprint to the line eventuated. Pete ran a credible third and was responsible for the moves success, a great ride. I managed to lead the remaining front group home, thus assisting moving us to fourth overall on the team classment.
The team had secured the KOM jersey, second on the sprint classification, two podiums, but more importantly gained valuable experience in working as a unit to deliver a quality opportunity to a quality rider. Paul possesses fantastic ability and the riders have had to all sacrifice their own aspirations for this tour in assisting to maximise our greatest finishing asset.
You will never read about these efforts in the results and they are rarely made mention of elsewhere, except within the team. Henry, Alex, Peter and I rode our arses off in the hope that another could claim the result reflective of our collective effort. Whilst the team may not, yet, have a professional license or hold the title of a ‘professional’ team, this last 6 days of racing have very much been all about professionalism.
This includes Brendon’s fantastic work in organising all aspects around the bike for the 9 day period, something he came into with no experience and is now completing the task with maximum efficiency. We simply could not ride as we do without his quality efforts. A great tea effort all round.
7 years ago / 1 Comment