by Ina-Yoko Teutenberg
Double days are probably most bike rider’s least favourite days. They are for sure not what I like…. I would always vote for a longer stage instead and be done with it. But it is what it is so I better suck it in today.
I’ve got some good and bad memories from double stages. I remember back in the day at Tour of New Zealand around Hamilton. I came in so late from the morning stage that I did not bother even changing, just ate my sandwich and 30min later we were off again. No problems with the warm up there.
Tour de L’Aude also favoured double days for a long time and when I started doing the race…pretty much a lifetime ago ;)…we always had a big mountain top finish and then the downhill stage in the afternoon. Don’t really think I need to mention which one I preferred doing. On the bright side of double days I once was able to win two stages in a day so I valued that one in New Zealand a couple of years ago.
One thing about double days is that the stages are short and from the outside it might seem that those should be easy. Unluckily the short ones are the hardest as everybody knows they’re over quickly and they look for their chances. It will be even more fast and furious than the last couple of days and changes in the General Classification might happen.
The afternoon stage today will be our first Team Time Trial of the year. So there is for sure no sitting in and waiting for the finish line to come. It will be pure agony from the start to the finish….LOVE IT.
I really think the TTT is one of the coolest events in road racing. Like every other race it is a team effort, but here we can actually all go on the podium together if we actually win it. I remember last year in Sweden at the TTT that I cried for my mum after only 10min into the race…. We still had about 40min to go…but I did survive and winning it made up for all the endured pain.
I am preparing myself for that same kind of pain this afternoon. Knowing the amazing TT girls we got on the start line and that we have a chance to get closer on GC means we will be going out 150%. I predict a pretty close race as the other teams have their main TTT riders here and everybody knows what is up for grabs GC wise.
In other words we will have a full day of fun in front of us!