Instant coffee sachets, little packets of cookies, tiny shower gel containers, overpriced washing machines, towels on the racks or in the bath tub, slow wireless, WIN and PRIME and never enough pillows. Yes it's life on the road. The road to glory for some, for me it's just the boring old road to Traralgon and beyond in the Tour of Gippsland.
Day one is down with two short road stages now under my belt. The first stage was flat and windy and the bunch split a few times with various crashes. Kane Walker won the uphill kick impressively, me, I was in the bunch and felt good, job done.
The next stage we raced two loops around Traralgon south up a vicious 1k berg then went straight out of town and up Mt Tassie. The climb went for about 30-40 minutes, it's all a blur I just remember attacking once at the bottom, attacking a second time, and we were away! We had a solid group with some dam strong climber, Tim Roe and Jai Crawford were pushing it for Savings and Loans and Adam Semple was keeping the pace up for the AIS team.
To say the descent was sketchy would be understatement of the century. It was nuts! Mudd, moss, rocks, dirt, rain, ferns, branches, and four, yes, 1,2,3,4 pick a plank tyre swallowing bridges! Somehow I am still alive to write this story, somehow.
As we neared the finish the attacks started, I did a big bridge up to one attack then went straight over the top. In the end it was Leigh Howard, David Kemp, Tim Roe and myself away with about 2k to go. The sprint for me was not great, I was planning an attack before the sprint but then kinda ended up on the front into the corner at 300 to go basically leading the others out. Hmmm, not good Jono, not good. So 4th it was.
A good start and I was happy to show some climbing legs on the first day. I can't wait for some more of the hilly road races to have a crack.
On a side note, all you can eat salad bar really does mean ALL you can eat. And this evening we ate all we could eat, possibly more...