Ronde van Overijssel-14th

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4:52:51 moving time   4,170 kJ    http://app.strava.com/activities/52313517
209 kilometers (129.5 miles) in total, this race was a UCI 1.2 in northeastern Holland. It had some big teams, not too much wind, and a mainly flat course. Nevertheless, it still was split apart due to the riders and distance. I tried to stay in the top 30 racers the whole day, just so I didn’t have to deal with crashes (most happen in the middle-back portion)and just in case the crosswinds were strong enough to crack the peloton. I was able to do this, and get in a couple moves in the last 30k. Some zig-zag roads (we got a full sampling of all wind directions) ripped the pack apart, with a group of around 30 of us barreling towards the finish after that section. At this moment (directly after the zigging roads), 200 meters after a left hand turn when we were guttered due to the wind, I smacked a side-view mirror. Actually, I shoulder checked it, ripping that plastic piece from his home. I got a nice adrenaline rush from that, along with some swelling a couple minutes later. This is just one of the many dangers racing here in Europe, along with road furniture (our 6k neutral was a war-zone because of these objects) and small concrete paths. Another point I’d like to make about these races is they just get faster and faster towards the final 50k or so, never relenting until you cross that line. Back to the race, most riders in the front group had another teammate, and some were sprinters, so they were keen on turning it into a bunch sprint. There were some small attacks though nothing was given more than 10 seconds at most. I was about 15th wheel coming into the final 500 meters, too far back yet all I could really muster. The sprint turned out to be an 800 meter drag race, not my strong point for finishing, so I just went as hard as possible, but the others were just stronger. It was a good learning experience, and hopefully a condition booster for the coming stage race block! Thanks!
Alex

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