Banyuwangi Tour De Ijen Stage 1Stage one, Banyuwangi Tour De Ijen.
We had the opening ceremony last night with much fanfare and loud noise. The team of Eddy Hollands, William Heath, Chris Glasby, Damir Kolonic, Scott Newman supported by Puspita Muskita and Fenton Moran finally realised that we are here to race.
The stage started at 11am and the temperature was to be reported at 37degrees, it fell like it too. The first 25kms was mainly uphill with the king of mountain being at that point. The heat up the hill was almost unbearable but that didn't stop Big Will finding himself in the front group that splintered of the front of the bunch. After about 70km everything was back together besides 6 guys of the front.
We raced mainly on very narrow roads which made it difficult to move up the bunch, as a result it didn't take much for moves to get away as the front of the bunch would spread across the road and block it. But with 20kms to go a second group got away this time with Eddy and Will being involved. It started to rain quite heavily and this made the roads very slippery and quite dangerous. As a result Glasby found himself sliding down the road but he didn't hurt himself and will be ok to start tomorrow.
Eddy did his best to try and bring the front group back in the hope that this would set it up for the Big Will to finish off. Unfortunately we missed catching the front group. Big Will won the sprint for 9th with Eddy rolling in the group around 21st. Scott and Damir finished in the bunch about 1min down. Glasby rolled in abouy 3min behind the main bunch.
After a 2hr bus ride we finally made it too the hotel and then the cleaning of clothes etc started. Just living the dream.
Eddy's garmin stats, 125km, 3hrs 5mins, average speed 40.5km/h, total ascent 575m.