Stage 11: Exciting Racing
I hope everyone managed to catch a bit of stage 11—-or at least the last 40km. What a race to watch! I am not normally a ‘watch cycling on television’ person as I prefer to be outside actually riding my bicycle, but today was one to watch and I am looking forward to tomorrow as well.
Rory sent me his usual “all is well” text when he finished, but I was not able to catch up with him via phone until later in the evening. He said one could feel the nervous energy at the start line today and most riders warmed up a bit on the trainer before the race as the course went straight uphill from the beginning. That can be quite a shock to your body, so warming up is key on a day like today. Rory was doing his thing during the early bits of the race—keeping Dan well-positioned and out of trouble and then the real fireworks began and he can only keep pace with those 60kg climbers for so long! He said Sky and Movistar were trading blows throughout the day and he ended up climbing with a small group to the finish. Dan had a great day and it definitely provides motivation for him and all of the riders on the team as they move through each day.
Today Rory was acutely aware of the fatigue of other riders. He said that he begins to feel a bit better in weeks two and three of a grand tour due to his extensive training in Zone 2. Now, this training zone may sound easy, but it is not. It essentially involves hours and hours of solo training at a very uncomfortable intensity until your body can handle the training load. It is incredibly interesting how this specific training can really change how your body handles the challenges of a grand tour (or any challenge, for that matter).
Tomorrow is the classic l’Alpe d’Huez and it is sure to be a day of true racing!