Wednesday__Beitostølen – Beitostølen ; 160km
Oh my, did I get spanked today... I was looking forward to feeling good on the bike, and at least finding a group I could ride with if things got too hot at the front, but it was not to be. Very hilly today, and I was in trouble the first time the road tipped up. Basically spent the entire day patrolling the back of the group until the inevitable happened on the 35km uphill drag to the finish. After getting popped once and coming back through the cars, I got dropped for real with about 15km to go. Lots of crashes, and I felt quite happy at the end of the day when I got away without going down. The upside of getting thrashed for 7km on the way up is that you generally get a ripper descent down the other side, and the Norwegian roads did not disappoint with uncharacteristically butter-smooth pavement and sweeping turns all the way. Hoping for a better day tomorrow…
Thursday__Fagernes – Hønefoss ; 160km
Made it over the first KOM climb of the day in considerably better form than yesterday and managed to ride a little closer to the front when we hit the valley on the other side. Once again, crash avoidance mode was on high alert as guys were falling off their bikes in all sorts of unlikely scenarios. Sketch. Christian went on the attack at some point so I got to do a little bit of attack coverage duty on the front with PeterP, which was actually going pretty well for me. I was thinking at this point that I might be able to do something useful today, like preparing a sprint or getting in a late move or something but yet again my legs were to fail me. I got dropped on a steep little climb at 120km, chased back with a small group and then went straight back to the front to avoid a repeat performance. Then Unibet.com sent some guys to the front to try and bring back a small group that got away over the climb. I was really wishing for an 11t cog at this point, with speeds regularly topping 60kph, but then again I was pretty happy to be packing the 25 for some of the uphills. Hm. I was staying on point near the front, but I went backwards pretty fast on the next hill and got caught out with a 5m gap coming over the top. Rode pretty hard for a k or two to try and close it but n go, so I had to content myself with the grupetto for two days running.
Friday__Oslo – Ottawa ; 6000+ km
Stage 3 for me involved a mildly scary 80km car transfer to Oslo airport (thanks Jens), then airplanes from Oslo to Montreal and a bus to Ottawa. Thankfully everything was super-smooth and my bike even showed on time too – I was a little sceptical given my bags were checked through even though I was running on two separate tickets. Nice. The low stress makes a marathon travel day that much less taxing. I need all the relaxing I can get with Beauce and another 600km worth of car transfer coming in the next few days. When am I going to train??
Oh yeah, going to bed at 11.30 – still light out
Waking up at 4.30 going to the bathroom – still light out
I'm thinking it must have gotten dark out sometime there.