1 August 2008

Tour of Denmark #1

I was really looking forward to the Tour of Denmark for some reason. Think the main reason was to have a look around a bit more of the countryside that I had not seen before. I had driven through it a few times en-route to Sweden, and we have even had a Team TT for the Women a couple of years ago. I had even spent some time having a look around Copenhagen, but there was still a bit more of the country discover. The tour pretty much was covering the whole of the country, so it was a great way to have a look at places you otherwise might not get to go. We had a fairly average team for the week, and with the Tour just finishing a week ago, and the Olympics a week or so away, most other teams were in the same predicament, so it was at least even. Racing for the week is Scotty Davis, Marco Pinotti, Andreas Klier, John Devine, Frantisek Rabon, Vincenti Reynes and Roger Hammond.

The boys off to the start on stage one. John Devine with lucky 13 on his back.

Driving up there was nice and relaxing, I had a pretty quick run through in the truck. Ronald, the other mechanic for the week was finishing up a very successful Sachsan tour. We had won four stages, had the yellow jersey for most of the week. We ended up getting 1st, 2nd and believe it or not 3rd in the TT, and this placed us with 1,2,3 in the general classification for the last stage, so it was easy to keep it for the final. Bert Grabsch taking the win overall, Andre Greipel had a couple of good stage wins as well. I must also mention the Women’s team, scoring another win overall in the Thuringen Tour for Judith, not far from where the Men were racing in the bottom of Germany. Not as close as it was last year, but just as difficult form the sounds of things. So we were starting near the top of Denmark, so as we raced we were heading in the direction of Copenhagen, for the final day. The sun was shining, and it was nice and hot. And for those of you back in NZ where the country is currently getting wasted with severe storms, it was a nice 30’c and not a cloud in the sky, with just a slight breeze just to cool you down a bit when lying in the sun or when out on the bike. The rest of the team were not arriving for a couple of days, so I took a bit of time out (after getting the prime position for the truck) and went for a few rides.

Frankie picking up his lunch in the feed zone.

First stage was a circuit, covering some very nice country roads, a few little hills (highest I heard in Denmark was 130m high) and some very cool looking coastal villages. The sun was not as hot as the last few days, and the wind was nowhere to be seen. A break of three local boy escaped on 15km mark, and they stayed away for the whole day, right up to the 10km to go mark. They had done pretty well, but the bunch reeled them in with a few km left to race. Nothing much happened in the race, and it was a sprint finish, the winner I had never heard of. Our boys gave it a shot, but having no real sprinters here, we finished with two in the top ten, so not a bad start to the tour.

Somewhere out in the countryside, its' wheat season, so the fields are looking brown.

Stage two was a bit more of a killer, 220km, plenty of warm sun, but at least there was some good strong headwinds to cool the boys down a bit. I was on truck transfer duty, so I was on the road at 9am, arriving at our beachside hotel at lunchtime. I set the truck up quickly, grabbed my bike and went for some exploring. I found some pretty cool little old fishing villages, full with period housing, looking just like I was expecting for this part of the world. The sun was shining hard (just for the Kiwi’s again) and I managed to find my way home, just in time for a nice brisk swim in the sea. It looked pretty nice, but I forgot it was the North Sea, my heart almost stopped beating when I jumped in. But lucky I am so healthy, otherwise there could have been problems. I now are awaiting the bikes and the riders, the finish is only a few km away, so they shouldn’t be that far away. Now to find some free wireless to get this posted, and maybe even get today’s race report from the other mechanic, and everything is up to date.

Hey that's roger in there, two more laps of 4km to go.

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