The second day of racing in Thuringen and the pace was on! Racing was as strong as ever - almost as strong as the winds, and with a few spots of rain but it was the cold weather that encouraged the bunch to get moving.
Sprint No.1 today was at 6.9km into the race; I chose the wrong side of the road and found myself totally boxed in and only managed to pick up 1 point...I was frustrated with myself for a few minutes, but quickly got over it!
There were two tough climbs before the next sprint, the first of the climbs was not raced hard and I crested at the front of the bunch...the second of the climbs was only 1.4km but this time I lost contact with the leaders which put pressure on my team mates to drag me back to the group before the sprint at 62km. Zita (Lithuanian) and Anna (Italian) worked so hard in the wind for more than 10km, even though we had 40 riders strung out behind us, they were the only two pulling turns! My Japanese team mate - Miyoko, jumped on the front to close the last 200m to the group.
We just made contact in time for me to move around the bunch and continue sprinting for the line - the sprint was close but I think I was beaten for the maximum points, although still increasing my lead for the jersey. At this point of the race I was done. The undulating terrain and constant pace had taken it out of me...I was tired. There was one more intermediate sprint at 108km but at that point of the race there was a break up the road.
I stayed with the lead group until the last steep pinch just 4km from the finish; you would think I could have just dug deep and pushed over it being so close to home but no, I was totally exhausted and watched the race sprint away from me.
I enjoyed standing on the podium again this evening to receive the sprinters jersey but I fear losing it tomorrow, the stage looks tough with nine demanding climbs. The sprints are at 20 and 60km...but I'll focus on the first one!
Here's some more Polar heart rate data to have a look at:
Stage Distance: 127.6km
Average Speed: 37.7
Race Time: 3hr23min
Cadence Ave: 87rpm
Heart Rate Ave: 183bpm
Heart Rate Max: 209bpm
Rochelle spoke about her good friend Amy Gillett's death in Tuesday's training accident in Germany - Cyclingnews is presenting tribute pages for Amy, which can be viewed at the following;