Stage 6 has just finished and we've packed up our bikes for the plane tomorrow. The stage was a 1hr crit (+3 laps) in Wellington. It was incredibly windy and the pace was on from the gun- or, to be specific, from the 'neutral lap'- which wasn't very neutral. Within the first couple of laps there was a selection of 20 or so riders and everyone else eventually got pulled from the course. I made the selection but my team mates got caught by the wind and weren't so lucky. The race was so hard, it was a mission just to hold wheels, try to hold position and not crash. There were also 5 sprints, each 10 mins, which added a bit of extra pace.
I finished around 10th-15th, which was enough to retain 5th on GC. Stoked. This was a major objective of the team and it's really been a team effort. Thanks guys, it's been a privilege to be your leader.
Thanks also to team manager Ben Cook of SASI fame (who has a career beckoning in motivational speaking if he ever gets sick of coaching), and uber-mechanic Paul Larkin. This has been without question the best team support I have ever had, in any sport, on any trip. Thanks also to Tammie Ebert, Donna Rae-Szalinski, DC at Fitzroy Revolution and John Hill at Fastgear (High 5). One day soon i'll do another entry about race nutrition, it was pretty interesting.