The final day of the Andalucia Bike race was once again weather affected. It was meant to be a 45km time trial but due to the previous days stage being cancelled it was extended to 55km and turned into a mass start race with no neutral zone.
The course started flat before heading up a long climb up a mountain, down the other side then back on the same flat start route. The pace was ballistic from the off and I struggled to keep up! Small groups formed on the long fast fire roads and myself and James were in separate groups, me chasing!
I caught James at the first feed and finally managed to get out of the red on the climb. We gradually moved up the field on the climb which went on for ever! We raced up into the snow line and into a winter wonderland! The snow lined single track was great fun if a little sketchy in places. We moved up a few positions on the first part of the descent and I norrowly managed to avoid a big crash chasing James down a snowy fire road descent. One high speed 2 wheel drift later and we launched into the final descent of the race, a super steep, straight, muddy chute of a descent. James hit this at warp speed overtaking half of europe, I decided that getting down in once piece was preferable and got held up!
The descent spat us out on the fire road return to the finish. My legs gave way here and I struggled to stay in the wheels and make it to the finish. I had to dig deep but made it back just off the back of the group we were in. We finished in 42nd position on the stage, 44th overall. Check out the stage video here:
We rode well as a team and paced our efforts well over the week. I certainly laid it all out on the last day, its no fun when your team mate is faster up and down!
Hopefully this race will be a great stepping stone to top form for my target races later in the year. Its certainly sharpened my technical skills and proved a fantastic testing ground for the new Cube race bikes. They passed with flying colours.
Now to recover!