As the 1st stage has not been that taxing, as far as the track difficulty goes, today, knowing that the route will be more demanding, a lot of attacks went from the start at Bukovica, Czech Republic. The complete course led thorough beautiful Czech Silezian/ Beskid Mountains. The figures called for 80km and 2700m of elevation. There were plenty of opportunities for those that are blessed with downhill skills, as the stage featured all the ingredients to gain tons of time in those parts.
It’s astounding how many felt to be limited by those tricky descents, and losing out a big deal of time in the process. Hence the classification was reshuffled strongly. Also many had hammered just way too much yesterday and saw themselves losing precious positions.
Thankfully the sunshine was omnipresent all along, and only a brief drizzle interrupted this perfection. It was kind of a mixture of loose gravel roads, tarmac every so often, and the rest an excess of narrow paths. Thankfully we had been presented with a long lasting rocky descent rife with switchbacks and slippery roots that really required your highest concentration. That played into the cards of gifted downhillers and had stopped a ton of contenders to fix broken tires, derailleurs, etc.
In the GC, Brozka cemented his leading position, counterattacking all frightening surges of Rood Bram. Brozka mainly profited from his dowhnhill talents. At the end he gained more than 4min on Bram. The third Polish Bartosz crossed the finish line another 4min later. Bras has still a decent chance in the GC having a a gap of 9min. In races like BT those 9 min can disappear in no time, due to an ill-timed mechanical or unfortunate accident, etc.
I had a great first 2/3, then having neglected to keep my blood sugar level constant, I had been limited and wasn’t able to leverage my forte: making up ground in the last third of the day. I battled through and caught some racers ahead of me but lost out approximately 4min due to my negligence. That said I must be content with how it went. I moved up in the ranking to 9th, and stayed upright all day. Minus one hilarious accident. I had all sort of crashes during my race career, though, to crash into horses, that’s been lacking in my crash repertoire thus far. On a gravel littered tarmac downhill my front wheel lost contact in a hairpin curve and went straight into a horse-drawn coach. Only after a while did a realise what happened. The fact that I wound up almost unscathed [just some bruises] is due to that fact that the poor horse served literally as some sort of airbag.
Tomorrow calls for another increase in the parcours severity. That’s an awesome playground for gaining time in those sections. That said, recovery is key.