Tour of Qinghai Lake, 2012, Stage 7.Stage 7, 104km circuit race consisting of 10 laps of a 10.4km circuit.
On a day that was suppose to be an easy stage proved to be a little more than that. The circuit had a small hill in it that was failed to be mentioned at the morning team meeting. It wasn't much but enough to make everyone breath heavy. Especially at 2756m.
Luckily was a very nice day, no chance of rain or wind and the sun was shining nicely down on the bunch.
The race started from the gun and with the bunch being very nervous we had 2 crashes with in the first 4kms. The first was caused by the bunch be cramped around a bend that came back onto itself a bit more than expected. Then a Rusvelo rider just seemed to loose the will to stay upright, he crashed all by himself at the front of the bunch.
On the second lap a group of 6 riders moved off the front of the bunch. We had WU Pielun in the move so we had no pressure on us to be active at the front. This meant that the TPT Team from Iran just had to ride a solid tempo on the front just to make sure the group didn't get to far ahead. In the last 2 laps the Farnese Vini team lifted the pace for there sprinter Andrea Giandini with some help from the United Healthcare team. Another crash in the lst 400m took out Giandini and some other top sprinters. Our team lost one of our riders today, apparently he crashed will he was at the back of the bunch.
After the first 7 days of racing we have covered 940.8km at an average speed of 43.6km/h.
We have a much needed rest day tomorrow, so hopefully we can recuperate a bit and get ready for the next 6 stages.
Eddy's Garmin stats, 104km, 2hr 15mins, average speed 46.2km/h, total ascent 672m.