We survived a noticeably tougher stage today–2 high passes to yesterday’s 1. We got caught in a rainstorm at the top of „the Bielerhohe“ – a 2030 meter elevation pass. Spectacular snow capped mountains all around, more happy cows by the side of (in some cases on) the road, then a descent with the positivo espresso orange bullet train to the finish, on roads that turned dry after we made it through some hairpin turns and down a few kilometers -reminiscent of Itoigawa finish. (dj, juliana and jerome waited for me at the pass so we could ride in together … well juliana did not wait once the weather turned bad, but we caught her quickly.)
Cows on the Beilerhohe:
David on the Beilerhohe:
We lost ground on the leaders on the first climb, and tried hard to make up some of it on the descent — 30 km. Unfortunately our hopes of gaining more on the leaders were dashed when a train crossing stopped us as a red austrian train passed it. This killed our motivation … even though it was only 2 cars and the crossing cleared after 1 minutes or less.
DJ and Juliana were trying to make up time on the leading mixed team, sponsored by Lighweight wheels. We call them Siegfried and Brunhilda, since they represent the ideal Aryan specimens. [Thank you, David – mob]
Unfortunately a flat tubular tire (road construction gravel — 20 meters of big coarse stones) killed their hopes. When we caught up with them changing the tire Juliana was applying the rim tape and grumbling very loudly about grease on the wheel rim — no way to treat a lighweight wheel. Even worse, DJ apparently wiped his grease-covered hands on the bridge over an adjacent stream, leading to additional complaints. But they seem back on good terms this evening, and now we are all far enough back in the standings so we can enjoy the ride.
We are now on excellent terms with messrs dupont and dupond, the french team that is leading the masters category (and only 1 minute out of the overall lead). They were pleased to learn that positivo espresso, listed as a japanese team, is actually a french team. They will adding us to their blog tracking the other 4 french teams … at least they said they would, and we hope they don’t change their minds when they look up our results. Unfortunately they have the classic cyclist look — emaciated with hollw eye sockets and cheeks, shaved or just bald heads, and pencil thin appendages.
At the pasta party:
Nightly leader presentation — the women’s category: