Any veteran of ToF from years past will tell you that the hotels are usually a mix of dusty jaded 2 star resorts. This year is definitely a step up and we’re staying in 4 * luxury in the old Thai capital of Ayyutyha.
today’s stage is a pancake flat 100km loop round the city – ending back at the hotel. Sprint finishes are expected in every category… Didn’t quite turn out to be so easy.
Keeping the musical theme alive, Gloria Gaynors “I Will Survive” would be today’s theme tune in Open. It was the overwhelming phrase at the finish with many happy to be there in one piece after a scrappy chaotic stage.
Open started fast – with a 52km average for the 1st 3k. The first 30km maintained a 45km+ pace as we tried to find a breakaway consisting of the right mix of teams. Eventually a group of 4 – including Pierre and Noel Mav got away and things settled down. We spent the next 20km policing the front, slowing it down and disrupting the chase.
The route was a bit convoluted and consisted of expressway, twisty roads through an elephant park (where we rode through a column of 4 elephants) and then turned into a fixie style alleycat race through the back streets of the city. At 45-50 km an hour, this was super dodgy and we had 5 crashes during the day – although all got up and kept riding.
the break had at least 3 minutes lead on the pack and we kept the speed steady to let them get more time. At 5km to go, we were back racing in the city and traffic control was getting sketchy. Takai – current race leader – was hit by a police car and we sat up and neutralised the final kms. Things got bizarre at the finish when Pierre led the break home about 5 minutes after the pack. They’d been misdirected and did an extra 5km.
Ben Arnott and his 2 companions from a 2nd chasing group were even less lucky and ended up 80km in the wrong direction.
All the DA finished in the pack – except Raoul who suffered a mechanical 100 metres into the race and ended up riding with 30s. Average speed including the last 5km at neutralised walking pace was 39 km/hr.
young Nate had another good day and held on to Open all the way to finish in the pack. All done with a malfunctioning chain that stopped him from getting out of the saddle all day.
wongster kept his position and finished at the fore of the 30s Peleton. No news on Nico yet.
appeals have been lodged and we’re trying to get the Open break reinstated with a 2 min lead over the group. If that works out then Pierre should be in yellow.
will update as results come through and we agree how to treat the multiple issues with the stage. Happy to survive it.
Follow the results at:
post race update – confirmed that the break will be given a 2 minute advantage. Everyone else in group given same time. PA is in yellow!