Ahh the dreaded double day. This is the day that really wreaks havoc on a lot of riders. We woke up at dawn to eat a quick breakfast and off to the time trial course we went. Since most of us are close to last on GC, we were all grouped together to go first. Since Peter was 4th, he went off about an hour after we did. It rained last night, so the roads were pretty wet this morning and everyone was on pins and needles about a wet TT this morning, but it held off.
I could have soft peddled the TT since it really doesn't matter since I was so far down in GC. but I trained for it and I was feeling good so I gave it a go, "full gas". 16:38 was my time, the winner was 14 and change. About a full two minutes faster on an 11.5k course. That is one fast Bulgarian.
Peter did what he could but lost a minute to the leader. He's now somewhere in the top 10, I haven't seen final results from today.
the afternoon's stage was only 100k so it went by pretty fast. I thought it was going to be harder than it was. The wind was really beginning to pick up and a lot of the roads were pretty small so it would have been easy for a strong team to gutter the field and split it, but that never happened. There were some hills as we left the start town. From the first attacks guys were already going backwards. After a couple more, Peter went with a couple and found himself up the road. He was the only threat in the break to it was up to Nugent* to bring it back. They have the guy who won two stages already (one being today), 4 total wins in a week. He won the race on Monday in Beauchamps and a TT the day before so he's rolling on some good form right now.
With Peter up the road, all we do is just sit and save energy. The local laps went fast and so did the pace on the finishing hill about a kilometer long. I was feeling pretty good, stronger than yesterday so I was able to help out Peter a bit once his group was caught in the beginning of the local laps. After a couple pulls on the front to keep the pace high and bringing some guys up to the front I was hurt on the hill. I lost contact just on the last lap of the dwindling peloton. My job was done and it was time to spin out my last lap and take in the scenery. We're really close to the coast and you can see that island just off the coast of Granville. Can't remember the name of it but it's the one you can walk to when the tide runs out. We'll see it again tomorrow when the stage finishes in Granville.
Tomorrow's the last day and there is still a lot that can happen. The local laps are very, very tough. The peloton will be reduced to about 30 riders once the final bell lap rings.
The final report will come on Monday since we will be driving back on Sunday night for 5 hours.