Well stage 2 was hard and fast and much like stage 1 for the first 2 hours, then we were stopped at a train crossing, then a group of 40 literally rode off the front of the bunch! Needless to say I should have been there, but I wasn't, so it was an easy 2.5 hours to finish off the stage.
Stage 3 was much of the same; single file, sprinting out of corners, battling to get to the front. All was going to plan, ie I was still at the front, until my shifter broke at 35 kilometres into the stage. So, 155km to go, gears available: 39x11 or 53x11; I was disheartened but the equation was not impossible.
I found the 39 was good for most situations but every fast crosswind section I was spinning like a mad man but the 53 was that bit too tall. Either way I was survivng, just waiting for a break to go and the pace to slow, but unfortunately we reached a KOM first, and a steep KOM it was. Picture this: a highly stressed lanky guy running up a hill in tap dancing shoes whilst short of breath from the combination of exertion and swearing; you've now probably got a good idea of what I looked like. Yes, I had to run up it.
So goodbye peleton, hello lonely road! I rode to the feed station and promptly demounted my steed all the while highly tempted to do a Bjarne Riis and hurl it into the bushes... but hysterics don't fix shifters so I decided against it
Not much to report on now, more races soon and plenty of training to come.