Dan Craven drops us more words from inside the Tour of Britain as he continues to impress on the road.
WORDS: Dan Craven | PHOTOS: Cheryl King
ToB Stage 3
Waking heart rate: 56 (using a Garmin today, not the classic stopwatch, so comparing is unfair)
It all seems too easy, black on white. Didn’t I say something silly like that just yesterday…
As the weather moved in, the day darkened in the RCS camp as Aussie Lappers took a sheep-induced-tumble while I experienced an ambition-fueled-implosion.
The day started with threatening clouds and consistent attacking as everyone piled pressure on the Team Sky squad. The beginnings of a break eventually went clear as narrow roads and parked cars in a town centre gave some riders a chance to slip away.
With what appeared to be the break of the day up the road, the yellow jersey stopped by the roadside for a nature call and many in the peloton followed suit. Against all unwritten rules in cycling, several riders decided to take this chance and jump across to the break. A move like that is really a low blow and seriously disrespectful, so understandably, many of us are disgusted.
And yes, We all know who you were.
Even worse, They made it across.
Moving on swiftly.
On Black Mountain, HTC attacked en masse and I was positioned really well up front, perfect position to see Henderson in his Yellow jersey blow and swiftly drift backwards. Knowing that this would motivate HTC even more, I dug deep and clung on to the dwindling front group beyond half way up the climb. But when things started going badly, they went badly quickly.
© Cheryl King Photography
I had pushed too hard, too early and was caught by a large group containing many riders I should outclimb and, of course, Henderson. And then I watched in horror as this group moved past me.
I had a bad climb but Lappers (Darren Lapthorne) had a worse descent. A lone sheep noticed a piece of green grass on the other side of the road and decided to go and investigate just as a group containing Benji (Greenwood) and Lappers were heading towards him at full tilt. Benji only just got past the wooly fool on the verge of the road but the concertina effect of riders braking behind him left Lappers with nowhere to go and he hit the deck, resulting in a broken collarbone.
If only the sheep had offered himself as a soft landing strip.
Recover well Lap! You will be missed.