Today’s stage, made even tougher due to adverse weather conditions, seems to have taken care of the GC teams for the race. With FedGroupITEC taking the overall lead, just ahead of team RECM, the race seems like it will come down to these two teams, barring and mishaps or mechanical disasters.
Looking at today, it’s hard to say without being in the race, what happened to the other teams, but I believe the mud in the first 15 kays played havoc with wheel-frame clearance and chains and deraileurs. That kind of delay early on makes you race hard to make up time and you tend to forget to eat and drink, which aggravates the situation.
Brandon told me on the phone last night that his legs were feeling good, and looks like he was right. He and Konny raced aggressively and took charge of the stage, with the win and the race lead being the perfect reward. But did they do too much today? Will they pay tomorrow?
Tomorrow is going to be another tough day with a huge cash bonus for one team. It’s possible that a few teams were holding back looking ahead to tomorrow, but from my experience you always race from the front and would never let the race ride away from you.
I would expect to see a “big” bunch with five or six teams hit the final climb together, as tactics could play a huge role. But then if the leaders ride another stage like today’s, you might only see one or two teams get to the climb together. Either way, it’s going to be exciting.
Source: Kevin Evans
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