7 Laps, 55kms, 2.15hrs
12th Place, 2.06min behind winner Julien Absalon
This is the fastest course in the world cup circuit. Every climb sprinting full on, and on the long flat section after riding through the start/finish the tactics are going to play. Most of the time nobody wanted to waste energy at this point before heading into the short climbs where it is single file racing for almost the entire race.
I started well, always sticking my nose up the front in this long flat section, but unfortunately not for too long. The first bend before climbing I got stuck in chaos, and found myself back into 20th. Sure if I would have had a very good day, I would have been able to move up front, but just to pass two riders was such a effort. I was pretty much at the limit for most of the time and I also could not ride away from my group over the last two laps even when I tried hard.
Lots of very strong riders struggled big time today. There were some blowing legs, so much, that you could almost hear the explosion! This made me feel a little bit better when I passed them towards the end. But only a little bit...