The 1st stage kicked of yesterday with a city circuit around taipei square in wet and pretty crazy conditions. They certainly like rd furniture here and i think perhaps even push holland and belgium of the top of the pedistal for objects to avoid. Anyway survived the mayhem of cast iron cats eyes and cobbled marble wet sections of rd to get my season up and running. One bonus was it was a critirium so only 1hr long so we were out of the rain pretty quick. I dont usually like the first few days of racing, takes my system a while to wind up and as a result missed a crucial move that to a few seconds out of the main field and was won by the emerging tallent from the genysis wealth advisors long list of rising stars, anthony giacoppo. From my perspective i was simply happy to get through without meeting the taiwanese ashfelt!
Stage 2 today and we were out on the open rd for the first time. A couple of gentle climbs followed by nose bleeding steep wet desents were on the cards. Was a pretty tame day however the scenery was somthing to behold, it was about as close to italian conditions as you can get and was pretty much a mini milan san remo, i must suggest to the likes of matt goss and phillipe gilbert to not waste there time racing the more prestigious tirreno adriatico this week and using taiwan to prepare for the bit monument this weekend coming. Anyway it started inland, went over a climb and a nasty decent led us to the coast. We rolled along there under the control of the geneysis boys and then hit the poggio!!! Or taiwanese equivilent which split the bunch to pieces and continued to do so on the nasty decent but with 30km of flat coastal rds still to the finish our small front group was not going to get to far. Once on the flat and roleing along beside the ocean once more attack after attack after attack went of till finally 7 slipped away. As i always seem to do in my first races of the year i attacked and was in all the moves that did not get away and sure enough the next one went!! Big big bugger, anyway its a bit like when you have not played golf for a long time, your short game and distance judgement is the first thing to go, for me not racing for a while my ability to pick the breaks eludes me for a bit until i find my rythm again hopfully somtime soon. Anyway alas the small group survived and on a reallyu positive note one of the japanese riders from saxo bank secured the leaders jersey on the day japan remembers the victums of the of the sunami 12months ago so was a great moment for him and fitting tribute. For our team we are just not quite amongst it yet but with some more challenging days ahead I am hoping that that may change. Anyway none the less its great to be pinning a number on again and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead this week in taiwan and indeed for the remainder of the 2012 season.
Time for some sleep
P.s also managed to obtain my first ever fine in a race today. Had a flat tyre and as the only way to return to the race is to ride back though the cars I did what I always do and what billions of cyclists have done in races in the past. The taiwanese race officials decided that it was against the rules as I was "attempting to draft" and slapped me with a 20" time penalty. Point taken next time I will put my superman cape on and flap wings and fly over the cars to get back to the bunch!! Ah new races, new rules I guess!!!
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