Yesterday i was back into a bit of racing action in the gp camaiore in tuscany. The race is natorious for being very hot and very hard so in otherwords alot of suffering. The day started out well for me and the team, after doing my usual job of policeing the breakaway and who was in it i decided to jump in a move myself and low and behold after covering the first 30km in less than 30min along the coast of the mediteranean i was back in a break again. We quickly built up a nice big lead of 8min as with almost every team present nobody was too keen to chase, also being used to being the one who chases the break i kind of hoped with me up the rd gave us a little bit better chance and i was really feeling like i could be a good day for me. Unfortunately team tactics meant this was not going to be the case as i was instructed not to help ride in the break so off course the other 11riders were not going to keep on charging giving me a free ride and inturn our gap plumeted as quickly as it had risen. I simply had to sit tight in the break and wait for our team leaders to ride accross later in the race or if by some miracle nobody chased us i could use my fresh legs to attacks the break and try and win. Once the gap started falling i quickly realised i was going to waiting for our leaders before assuming my usual role of pulling on the front. For me its not a great feeling sitting on a breakaway and not doing my turn's on the front. I realise its a part of cycling but i feel really uncomfortable being a free loader and annoyng the poo out of the other riders in the move. So low and behold we started going nowhere fast. This became the least of my worries in the feed zone at exactly half way 100km into the race when i took a feed bag awkwardly and damaged my intercostrol muscles in my back. All of a sudden everytime i hit a bump or stood up or had to breath deeply i was in serious agony as it felt like i had busted ribs again. This is not a great injury to have just as a bike race is hotting up and as i had already pissed off all my breakaway companions i knew that they were going to do all they could to attack the life out of me in the final 4 laps of the challenging circuits. Fortunately i can mask pain pretty well and with the rule in cycling being basically if you can still ride you ride stopping certainly never crossed my mind and being in the front group retreating to the safety of the bunch was also not an option so i braced myself for 100km of suffering. Sure enough with 75km to go the first attack happened on the climb. Not being able to stand and accellerate quickly i had to remain in my seat and gradually ride back the escapee, this inturn thin'd our group down from 12 to 6. Next lap another dude went and i was forced to do the same of gradually riding hime back which was quite a balancing act as i had to go hard enough so i actually pulled him back but not too hard so i had to breath deeply too often so was quite an interesting exercise for me. Anyway with 1 lap to go or 25km we were now down to 4 when the first riders bridged accross from the peleton. We had one of our leaders in the group in damiano caruso and as soon as he arrived he instructed me to drill it which i duly did. We kept a gap over the rest of the bunch and when we hit the climb for the final climb i did my final big with all i had left, well with what i had left sitting in the seat and when i knew i was close to running out of juice i held my breath and felt like a 100m sprinter for my final m's of power before damiano kept of charging with the another 5 guys left in the group that had bridged accross and i roled of to side of the rd to sack in some very painfull deep breaths before continuing onto the finish at a nice leisurely pace for the final 10km content with my days work which was just what my body needed. Damiano ended up 6th in the sprint which was a good result for him. As for me it was time to think of my ribs and initially i was convinced it was broken but fortunately i learnt later it was just a strain of the intercostrol muscles in the area which is equally as painfull and to rub insult into injury i have been told that the therapy which i will begin tomorrow once the spasm's have settled a little is really really painfull so glad i picked an nice inconveniently annoying injury because tomorrow i also begin the week long eneco tour in holland and belgium so not only will i get to suffer on the bike but instead of then enjoying a relaxing massage i will have another pain fest in the hotel. "Such is sport hey"
Anyway another experience for me and as usual i will find a way to enjoy it!