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Volta a Portugal 2012 – Stage Nine: Praia de Pedrogão – Leiria iTT

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Praia de Pedrogão

32.4 km, 212m ascent today, in the stage to Praia de Pedrogão. What a FARCE. My TT bike was exactly at the right length when I came to this race, yet at the prologue they told me it was 1cm past the limit… It was duly cut and shortened.

Today, remarkably it was 2cm passed the limit! Did the bike grow? No, it was bloody measured with some contraption a 10 year old might have bashed together. It’s a disgrace.

This is supposedly ‘elite’ sport, yet the principles of metrology seem completely lost on the people who make the rules: The ground was uneven, the machine was in no way calibrated, the angle of the verticals from which the measurements were taken weren’t exact, the bike was leant on the machine at an angle and there was a massive parallax error depending where you stood; hence the massive 2cm difference from one day to the other although the bike was actually shortened since the prologue.

Anyway, what this meant was that I had to change my stem, and race on a bike which was new and awkward, as well as have next to no warm up. Luckily it was a non-technical course.

The funny thing was he was sending loads of guys back… All wrong apparently.

My boss I think sensed my temper rising and took me away from the man.

I swear such a lack of rigour would be unacceptable in any other industry.

I wanted to do a good TT, hence the easy day the day before, but there you go…

Praia de Pedrogão
Alejandro is a class act.

On the bright side, we won the stage!

Alejandro Marque blitzed the course to win by a big margin. It was truly impressive and goes to show his 3rd place in the Spanish nationals was no fluke.

Volta ao Algarve

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