I arrived in Sankt Johann on Saturday after a 5-6 hr drive from Hartberg and despite a day's rest was very very tired for Monday's road race and so couldn't even raise a smile over the final 200m ,never mind a sprint. I had started off in good form and had kept up with the younger ones up the first part of the Huberhohe but blew a valve after a while and went backwards. I was solo for quite a while before being caught by the next group and stayed with them to the end. 5th place.
Tuesday was spent mostly asleep or eating!
Wednesday is TT day, but for the first time I didn't race it. The weather was diabolical. I got a quick ride in, but my friends told me their clothes were about 1kg heavier after the race, it was so wet. Hard to imagine since they were in skinsuits.
Thursday was another cruise day and we went to Gassteig to visit a cheese factory where we learned about how happy the cows were in that particular area...eating yummy grass in summer and organically looked after(ie no plastic covering) hay in winter. There were about 5 types of cheese but we couldn't go past 2 of them...
|they we a Camembert type of cheese|
We bought a Kleiner Stinker, but think it needed to sit around for a day or so as it wasn't ripe enough..nice but. We couldn't work out the difference btw kleiner and grosser...it wasn't size....
Friday was the road race. There were 7 starters in our group and by the top of the Huberhohe only 4, although 3 of us had to work extra hard to catch the front runner. We think she didn't realise we were there behind her, as she didn't pull off or even look round until the base of the next hill...actually she is very strong but she didn't really know how to pull turns or ride in a group , so we wondered if she normally only raced TT's or perhaps is a triathlete.
This time I *could* sprint but was beaten into 2nd place....doh! Later on I was unofficially awarded a jersey on account of me being 70 and riding against much younger athletes. I was delighted and very touched by all the work Maria had done to persuade the organisors that this was a good and well deserved gesture. I had to promise to return next year...oh the hardship!
Depart these shores Tuesday, home Thursday. 1 last day of watching the Vuelta at a civilised time!