Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Trofeu Joaquim Agostinho

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I raced the Trofeu Joaquim Agostinho this weekend past weekend.

The Prologue was very tricky, very technical. I did my best and I was very pleased.

I didn’t have any great expectation for it, which was a good thing as I missed quite a lot of my warm up, due to everyone going berserk when my team mate and Time Triallist Alejandro Marque broke a gear cable just minutes before he was due to race. I also haven’t touched the TT bike since February.

I’m going to start doing some work on it though, I might do the National TT Championships if it isn’t too complicated to do so. Iker Camaño won the prologue by quite a margin.

The First Stage could have been tricky and at one point I though it would be, as the entire peloton went down a wrong turn… I was told to reel the break in at this point also.

This would have been tricky because by the rules of cycling, the cyclist must know the route and is held ultimately responsible if he goes of course. However, we were lucky because they stopped the race and we only had to chase for 10km or so.

The rest of the stage was controlled by Endura. It’s excellent to watch a British team (that’s not Sky) racing like a professional team should.

Too often I’ve seen continental teams that are completely ineffective, it’s no surprise that they’re the top ranked continental team in Europe.

The end of the stage was very dangerous, I was comfortably in the main bunch taking it cautiously, but stopped when I saw two team mates with a puncture, to help them chase back on.

Unfortunately, Marque, whom I waited for didn’t believe he could sprint back on after getting a good bike from another domestique… Ironically I arrived with the peloton a few meters away, having soft pedalled the last 300m waiting for him; he could have made it back on.

The stage was won by Sergio Ribeiro, which wasn’t much of a surprise, being the best sprinter in Portugal at this type of stage finish.

The second stage was a very hard circuit with a tough hill in it. Passing this hill once is annoying, passing it ten times was exasperating.

It seemed we’d never finish. I was told to take it easy today and did my best, but as said, it was tough. I did some work when a team mate, Nelson Vitorino who went on a lone escape; I was marking anyone that went of the front. I probably shouldn’t have bothered, since no one else on the team did, but I did my best.