Some 60 riders didn't finish Friday's stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, but Rabobank's Grischa Niermann made it to the finish line, and was "a little proud that I forced myself through.
"That was really a horror day, in addition to the countless mountains we had rain," he wrote on his personal website. "For someone like me, who isn't among the best in the mountains and would rather brake more often on the descents than fall on my nose, that's a problem.
"Almost the whole day I rode in small or large groups behind the field, and every time that I could join a group, another climb appeared, or the next descent. My only consolation was that the peloton no longer consisted of 120 riders but of only 60."
The torture finally came to an end. "Together with about 30 other 'survivors' I simply tried to make it to the finish line, which I was finally able to do about half an hour down."