Tour of Britain – Stage 2: Down and Out

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When I woke up yesterday morning I was hopeful that I would be better than day 1. Sadly I was wrong.

As we got underway I still didn’t feel flash but I put in a lot of effort in the first half hour to get a Node4 jersey into the day’s breakaway. It was a tough battle in a blustery headwind until finally one stuck with Mike Northey making the group. Soon after, the rain that had been promised began to fall and the temperature plummeted with it.

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My day started to unravel when I was brought down in a big crash about 2 hours in. As bodies and bikes hit the road in front of me I spied a small gap and went for it. I thought I’d made it through unscathed when a flying bike dropped down in front of me and cleaned out my front wheel. I hit the ground hard…

I picked myself up and quickly assessed the damage to myself (nothing broken thankfully) and my bike (broken shifter and buckled wheel). I rolled along as best I could until the team car got up to me and I swapped onto a spare bike. After a quick chase it was business at usual, rolling along through the Lake District in the rain.

As we began to hit the bigger hills of the stage I really started to suffer. When the pace went up I had nothing left to give and I found myself slipping backwards through the group on the climbs. After spending some quality time in the convoy and giving it absolutely everything to stay in the race I finally lost contact.

I was absolutely gutted but still held onto a glimmer of hope that I could make it to the finish inside the time limit. This didn’t last long as I was becoming colder and colder and felt so weak I had almost completely stopped. I knew my tour was over; ruined by a very poorly timed stomach bug which had sapped my strength in the crucial final week before the race.

I’m out of the tour now and my UK season is finished. It would have been great to finish with a strong performance in the Tour of Britain, especially as this race has been my focus for the entire season; but, you can’t control everything and sometimes things don’t go to plan no matter how well prepared you are!

Good luck to my team Node 4 Giordana for the next 6 days of racing. I wish I was still racing with the boys but I’m sure they will do a great job and I’ll be watching! For me it’s time to take a bit of time off and look ahead to what’s next…