Sam Boardman checks in once again from the Dominican Republic!
This was probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done on a bike.
Power dipped out, but wow, today was hard. I was following moves from the gun, and finally I made the break with about 15 dudes, including teammates Dave and Quinten, at the beginning about 45 minutes in. It would then be a looooong day in the break (almost 100 miles in the break) with a lack of cooperation here and there, but we then gained about 7 minutes on the peloton, which would only be whittled down to 5 minutes by the end of the stage.
It ended up being another frustrating day personally, but good day for the team. We made a turnout early, so I though the course has been altered, and I ended up mishearing a teammate say that there was 5km, so I attacked. I would soon learn that there was 40km, to go, so I settled in, and eased up when I saw that a group of four would catch me.
Some suspect team tactics would then get the best of me. As it turns out, down here single teams have A and B squads that they enter into races as separate teams in separate jerseys, but who work together all the same. So what was superficially a group of four rider from entirely different team, really was a group of two and two. An ACT (local team) rider made a dig and would end up winning solo, while I was floundering waiting for one of the Inteja guys to attack, but they say up. The other ACT rider in our group wouldn’t chase his “teammate,” so he sat up too.
We would then be caught by the breakaway again with about 10km to go, and Quinten countered with another local rider, and would finish 3rd! I rolled in to a top ten finish (I think), absolutely spent, but hopefully moved up on the GC.
Aside from the distance mishap, the reason this was dumb was because were racing on a highway in torrential downpour literally weaving through active traffic with no moving barrier, which dudes attacking and trying to catch a draft off some rando’s bumper. If I were my mom, I wouldn’t let me bike race.
NOTE: Send some love to Gavin Murray. He’s been a champ all week and was caught up in a massive pile up 1km from the finish when the peloton rode through a huge pothole-turned-river.
Dave Christenson adds the following:
Stage three had 185 kms of relatively flat terrain with lots of wind due to the route hugging the Dominican coastline. After about 10km myself, Quinten, Sam got into a breakaway of 15 riders. We rode flat out for 4 hrs. With about 40 km to go Sam attacked solo and three riders went in chase.
About 10km from the finish Sam’s group came back, by this time a huge rainstorm started chucking it down and as we neared the finish we were literally racing through Saturday traffic on one of the DR’s main highways. The rain was so bad you could barely see where you were riding, as well as dodging buses, semis and Hyundais on the road. I kept thinking “at some point I’m probably going to smash into one of Santo Domingo’s plethora of potholes and crash” and I was kind of ok with that because it would mean an end to the suffering 😉 As we came into the final 3km a Dominican rider attacked solo and would end up winning. Quinten chased with one other rider and finished in third, Sam and I rolled in a few seconds later and maybe all of us in the top ten, it was the first time in all the racing I’ve done to come into the final 100 meters with five cars parked in the middle of the course, but hey, I guess there’s a first time for everything!