Heavy rain in the morning, but 10 minutes before the start it stoped. A miracle happened! The course had slight changes, due to the heavy rain the last 48 hours.
The start was very fast. Luckily not so steep climbing, what I find easier at the moment. There I have more time to recover and get my leg to spin again. It is still bad, but somehow I managed to stay in the same group as Elisbaeth Brandau today.
It was fast riding all the time. I had the feeling I was riding on the limit all the time, but I wanted to see how long I can go that fast and how long Elisabeth can ride that fast. She never showed any weaknesses. A very strong rider and she does deserve her victory today.
Too bad that there is this bad taste after today’s stage. She got a warning from the organizers, because she has male help riders with her. Just to mention that I lost the 3 minutes on the last 15km slight downhill today. I was fighting alone, going for 48km/h and she could nicely role in towards the finish. I also did not like to see her male team mates carrying her water bottles. Why couldn’t they just give her the bottles behind my back and not in front of my eyes?
Well, she is a strong rider and could also win without having this kind of help. I hope she will one day learn it. After several years of riding she can’t really blame it on the fact that she doesn’t know the rules. Those should be very clear by now as there has been a few more situations like this where she has been involved.
Now you might think that I am disapointed and therefore mentioning this incident. Disapointed in a way, because she is a strong rider and deserves to win and she can win without having these helpers around her. It is so unfair against every other woman riding this race.
If she can show that she can win alone without any water carriers the next two stages, she will win my respect for her back again. I truly hope this will be the case.