Another day and we were all up ready to go nice and early. I got to leave a little later today as the special stage was at Climachx and I was one of the later starters. I hadn't slept well overnight, the worst sleep of the race and had found the evening before hard in the big tent which made getting going in the morning difficult. I headed up to the Climachx trail with Joe who was starting just before me. We took it easy on the climbs up there. Since my head wasn't really there I took the trail easy, stayed at around 160bpm on the climb up. But on the downhill it was really noticeable so I didn't push it. I know I could have rode better but some days it isn't there. Once I finished Climachx I was hanging around chatting when I found out people had already set out up to an hour ago on the special stage so I thought I'd better get started. It meant those who were higher up the GC or hadn't rode the special stage had a better chance of making the cut-off. It was a good stage, although the hills went on for ages and were a little bleak in the rain. I seemed to spend most of the day catching one person then passing them on a hill then riding on my own till the next person, that's what happens when everyone starts at different points, you no longer have the group of people round you that you are used to seeing every day.
The river crossing today was a different prospect again, fortunately there was a rope up, otherwise I would have been washed away! I'll be buying some photo's from that crossing definetly. The funny thing was there was bridge nearby but most of us queued to wade across the river, I think we just all liked getting wet by then. The stage had been slightly shortened due to some flooding and I was back well within the cut-off. Once back it took me a while to find the tent, the field was so small we were all very close together. I think someone thought there were a lot less of us than there actually was!
70km @ 13.2km/h 140bpm
max Speed 58.2km/h max HR 180bpm
In the evening I suprised to find I had made the podium again, even though I thought I hadn't rode well. This time I won a bike top, which Ali has claimed as it fits her better than me!