My Dad and I travelled up to Fife on the Friday afternoon. My Dad had to stop to make some calls to clients whilst we were driving so it took 10 hours (!!) to get there. I had made pasta bake the night before to take with us for our tea -and it was pretty good to be fair. When we finally arrived we watched a bit of the Dauphiné, and went to sleep.
Today’s stage was 113km with some rolling roads with one big climb to finish. After waking up and having a bowl of the obligatory overnight oats we drove over to have a look at the finishing climb, before heading to the start. Bit of rush to get to the start for signon.
It wasn’t long until the race was underway. To begin with the race rolled off fairly steady with not many moves going away. As we hit the second circuit the race got more active with a few riders managing to get away. As we came off the second circuit onto the flat road heading towards the summit finish small groups were jumping clear of the bunch, some of them I knew I had to get across to. We hit the bottom of the finishing climb and straight away the pace was lifted. I was sitting about 10th wheel so I could see what was going on. With about 1km to go Louis attacked, I hesitated, then with about 400m to go I went for it. I was closing in on Louis and just caught him on the line. It came down to a photo finish.
Unfortunately I finished 2nd by a few millimetres.
That afternoon we went back into St Andrews to visit the Spokes shop (main sponsor of the event). I’ve been riding these Vittoria Corsa Speeds graphene tubeless tyres (@Vittoriatires). They are spectacular tyres, but very vulnerable to punctures. My Dad as chief sponsor is going to pull the plug on Vittoria I think. The sealant does its job, but the roads in the morning were covered in detritus causing everyone a lot of punctures. My tyres made it to the end, but I wanted to top the sealant up since I had sprayed most of the peloton on the way round so figured the level might be a tad diminished. The mechanic in Spokes was great – could not have been more helpful.
We had a really nice lunch just down the road from Spokes. On the way back we checked out the course for Sunday. Back to the hotel and had a take away curry for tea which went down very well.
Today’s stage was hilly, with lots of climbs on each loop. Again the race went off fairly steady, with little moves going until we hit the first major climb. I bridged across to the break, but unfortunately there weren’t enough people wanting to drive the break forward.
The bunch came in together. I placed 5th on the stage, 3rd in the bunch sprint (good for me, so pleased with that part). Which meant I secured 2nd overall on GC.
In all it was a really good weekend with some great courses and very welcome hospitality. Shame the weather was a bit miserable but thats the way it goes.
I then had an 8hr drive home to look forward to. In fact it wasn’t that bad in the end as I fell asleep for most of it. I think my dad would disagree 😉