The riders of the very hilly Vuelta a Colombia took a well deserved rest day yesterday, the same day the Giro d'Italia took a breather. Rest days don't necessarily mean just resting. In a stage race, the riders want to do a bit of exercise, otherwise the next day could end up with heavy legs and a bad surprise.
The same was true for home team Colombia es Pasión-Coldeportes, which spent the day in Medellín. Directeur sportif Luís Fernando Saldarriaga explained that "On the rest day, we will ride a bit, to not lose our rhythm. To rest more than anything else, so we can regain power, which will be necessary for the second week in the Vuelta a Colombia. The team is already concentrating on the stage of tomorrow [May 20]. That stage could be decisive, so we have to ride it with great responsibility. In the first week we rode very animated ... and we want to continue that way."
Between riding, eating and massages, there is a bit of leisure time, too. Riders may read, play video games or finally be able to catch up on email. Anything to save the legs for a hard stage 9, which includes three tough mountains. First, they will go over the category two Alto de Minas. Then they will head on to the Tres Puertas, which is 'only' a category three climb. The final blow will come six kilometres from the line, with the category one Plaza de Toros de Manizales.