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Tour of Qinghai Lake, 2012, Stage 5

July 4, 2012
Stage five 200km

Oh my god, 200km of solid crosswinds at an average altitude of 3287m. It was a chilly 12degress on the start line, a lot of the guys where rugged up in leg and knee warmers. Arm warmers where a given and jackets where opinional.

It was a solid start as guys tried early on to try and escape the field, Dylan had a few really good cracks at making a group. It took about 30km for a group of 5 riders to breakaway. Once this happened the bunch pretty much switched off for the next 30km allowing the break to gain nearly 9mins.

Someone had a lapse of concentration at the 65km mark and caused a crash in the middle off the bunch, apparently someone broke a collarbone. From there on in it just didn't stop for the rest of the day. The bunch was continuously being put under pressure. At on point the bunch was split into 5 groups.

The whole team struggled today, Eddy would have spent nearly 40km in the convoy of cars. A big thank you to Henk Vogels driving the Rusvelo team car for motor pacing him for the best part of 20km. Henk actually told him he spent 10years of his life in the convoy when he was racing, so one afternoon isn't that bad. Dylan was in and out of the convoy but still looked good as he got himself back on every time. Poor Heksa had bad leg cramps and had to abandon the race.

But even after all the splits, coming back together, splits, coming back together a large group arrived at the finish line together. A nasty looking crash happened with 300m to go spreading across the entire road. So after all that happened during the race everyone in the team arrived with the bunch time.

The rain is coming down really heavy as I type this and we are all glad we finished when we did. It's now time for some dinner then a massage which is really going to hurt tonight.

Eddy's Garmin stats, 200km, 4hrs 28mins, average speed 44.9km/h, total ascent 614m.