Stage 2 stated great and ended with my head hung low. The first 40km of the race were flat and fast but nothing that hard. 20km into the race I braked hard and my front brake cable came loose so I had to drop back to the car to get it fixed. It wasn’t easy as I ride with one hand quizzing the brake calipers tight and used the other hand to tighten the bolt. After a few tries I got it the brake working properly again just in time for the first and hardest climb of the day.
Climb one was a 10km climb, however it was not as steep as anything we did in the Czech. Near the top things started to split apart, and giving the good legs that I had I found myself in the lead group of 8 summiting the top. From there things figuratively and literally went down hill, after a few minutes of descending we came to a steep downward pitch and a tight right hand turn. It only took one rider going to fast to over shoot the turn then try and come back on the road which took myself along with 3 other riders down. I landed hard but my bars took most of the fall, as I remounted my bike and began to ride I realized that the bike was not ride able . The bars were severely bent in and the derailleur was bent. As I sat on the side of the road I saw my race go out the window, but I still had some hope. As the next group of riders came by containing Andrew, Austin and Anders I tried to get there attention. Anders happen to see me and being on Hot Tubes and a good guy he pulled over and gave up his bike. With a bike that was several sizes too short I chased as hard as I could. As the chase went on I began to lose hope of catching back up.
After 15km of chasing a group containing Ryan caught me and we continued riding hard. On the final climb Ryan and I rode at the front and descended like made men and dropped the entire group and rolled into the finish 15 seconds ahead of the group we where in but over 3 minutes behind the winners.
Today was mentally hard, being high on GC and having good legs but having a crash take me out of it, made for some frustration. However, as Anders says “ if you can’t get hurt and lose it all it’s a game, not a sport”, tomorrow is another day and another chance to lay it all on the line.
p.s. in the crash I tore up my jersey, broke my helmet and lost my second pair of glasses on this trip, but escaped with minimal road rash.