The fear of tomorrow

FELT - Shimano Dream Team Diaries, October 22, 2006

Stage Five: Blencoe Falls - Koombooloomba, 75 km

Dave Wood had an amazing ride, finishing second into Koombooloomba Dam on stage five. Wood came through the finish line with a giant smile on his face, having thoroughly enjoyed the race through the power-line track into Koombooloomba Dam.

Koombooloomba Dam has had both joy and sorrow for the Dream Team in years gone by. In 2003, Alberto Elli won the stage, beating overall race winner Roland Stauder - who suffered from technical problems. Two years later the Dream Team effectively lost the Crocodile Trophy due to bad luck and four punctures on the part of Mauro Bettin.

The night before the Koombooloomba stage, the Dream Team had interrupted sleep with worries that we would be out of the Crocodile Trophy once again with punctures and mechanical problems. Each one of the riders on the Dream Team carried three tubes, two canisters, a patch kit and one rider carried an extra tyre and pump. But lady luck was with the Dream Team and Darren O'Grady suffered the only puncture of the day.

Valentin Zellor spoke openly and easily at the dinner saying this was the most beautiful stage he's ever seen in a bike race. Evidence that he was not one bit fussed by the absolutely torturous stages.

After the race there was lots of discussion as to the two race leaders who went the wrong way, with consideration being given to nullifying the day's times. As Team Manager I spoke to Race Director Gerhard Schoenbacher and told him: "We can deal with things whichever way the cat jumps, but in international racing, it is the responsibility of the cyclist to know the course."

"Although this is not the way the Dream Team wants to move up on General Classification, we also recognise that we had a good day in our own right and moved up naturally."

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