Tour of Friendship | Day 5

last day of the race and it’s an 85km blast around the city. The final day is typically a sprinters day and I remember we averaged 44.5 km/hr last year.

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the calculators were working overtime last night and PIerre emerged still holding the yellow jersey with a 4 second advantage over Takei. Bastian Mav was 1:30 back and Ben Arnott around 4:20. Plan for the day was to prevent a sprint so that Takei couldn’t take the bonus seconds.

we put Dave Christenson in the break at km 0 along with 7 others which included Ben Arnott. The pace was kept manageable high with an average of 43 for the first 30km of the race. Takei launched a series of blistering attacks which strung the pack out at over 60km/hr many times in rapid succession. We endured these whilst various bodies popped out the back of the Peleton.

at 50km, I found myself in an intermediate break with Jimmy Guardino and a couple of others and we hammered on for 15km. The police told us the main break had 4 minutes up the road which meant that Ben Arnott was close to stealing the yellow.

We communicated this once the bunch re absorbed us – leading to an obscenely fast last 10km where we averaged about 50km an hour.

Up ahead, Champion Systems won the open sprint and Direct Asia Dave Christenson took 3rd. Ben gained about 3:40 on us. Putting him into 4th overall but not enough for yellow!image

Nate popped out the back at about 60km and came in 10 minutes back. A great effort overall from the young lad – going from Cat 3 to hanging with ToF open in just 12 months.

In 50s, Bill olver came 9th in the bunch sprint and Steven 12th. Steven finished the race in 5th on GC.image

nico survived another day and continued to ride into form.

overall, it was another great ToF. The Sunday shambles was quickly forgotten and we had some awesom racing on fine roads. The new upgraded hotels were also a welcome bonus. I picked up the type of sunburn that makes 7-11 staff laugh so was clearly good for the cancer risk also.

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