September 2: Another big loss

Index to all entries Another day done, which means I’m one step closer to both the rest day and the...

Index to all entries

Another day done, which means I’m one step closer to both the rest day and the end. Today we had a rolling stage, with one cat 3 climb. It seems like the race really got underway today, with lots of attacks and fast racing all the way around. It was nice to get things going.

However, our team suffered a big loss today, when our current GC leader, Josep Jufre, got caught and hurt in the big crash of the stage. He cut an artery in his arm on a road barrier, and it was bleeding too badly for him to continue, so he was taken to a hospital to try to get the bleeding stopped. That means that his race is over. I didn't see the crash, but Freddy did and he said it was pretty ugly.

It’s a big loss for Josep and for the team, since he was riding so well, which is huge, since he’s a Spanish rider in Spain’s biggest race. Personally, I had been looking forward to helping him try to break into the top ten. Josep has been a dedicated workhorse for the team, for Cadel and for myself all season, and I would have liked to help him have a great Vuelta in return. It was a big loss all the way around, but that’s the way bike racing goes – it’s easy to go from top to bottom in only a few moments, but hopefully he can bounce back fast and have a good ride in the remaining races of the season.

The day pretty much ended up the way it started, fast until the finish, with a crazy final 2 km that saw sprinters and climbers both duking it out all the way to the line. I did a hard two km on the front going into the finish to help Freddy, but he ended up in front too soon, so it didn't work out. We’ll try again.

I keep thinking that something exciting is going to happen one of these days so I’ll have a good story to tell, but it hasn’t happened yet. So that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading,
Chris

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