Epic Gran Canaria Stage 2

Stage 2 started with the same sunrise ride to the start as yesterday, but this  time with Flo and Ewa for company; today my favourite support would be out on the road ❤️❤️❤️ 

Flo on the go

Soaking up the atmosphere at the start among friends new and old makes these events worth returning to every time, however, on this day there really isn’t much time to spare before things kick off: a short neutralised section through the Playa del Ingles urbanisation, saw the 22km, 900m climbing single race sector up to San Bartolome start. 

Tranquil on the flat initial slope, as soon as the gradient pointed upwards, so did the pace, and the group started splitting straight away. The pace was a little stop start, as Mads tried to shake overnight leader Matti, and when the group had bunched up just before the infamous triple hairpins in the middle of the climb, I drifted to the front to settle into a steady tempo instead of the accelerations and decelerations thus far.  

Lead group approaching the first crest: ‘Degollada de las Yeguas’

It wasn’t long before the next attack, and I jumped with it as the group continued to thin, Karsten dropped a chain but was quickly back, and with the first crest now shortly coming up, I could see the joyous apparition of the beaming smile of moja kochana Ewa, letting me dig deep enough to start the short descent with the leaders.  

Full gas
‘Cuba Mata Itaca!’ Un buen amigo out to watch the suffering

I ended up on Matti’s wheel, who took the descent conservatively, but I was sure he would get back up to the group. Disaster struck as we rounded a corner and Blas was picking himself off the ground, having hit a stone on the road while looking back to see where the rest of us were. Thankfully all ok, but that caused a split in the group. It was now Mads with Pablo and Aquiles up the road, Matti chasing with me on the wheel, and Karsten who had stopped to check on his teammate Blas behind us.  

Down here, then up that way.. !

Matti didn’t quite manage the junction to the leaders on the flat section between the two descents, and I took the lead on the next descent section: a fast, flowy full gas descent, and even better with the confidence of no traffic like today. Matti caught back up to me at the start of the next and final climb, the 9km pull up to San Bartolome. Karsten on his wheel, we soon caught the leaders, and the attacks resumed, leaving Matti and Mads as the leading duo to battle it out for stage and overall honours, me looking to move up a little after losing time yesterday.  

Thankfully my legs were nothing like the feeble malfunctioning noodles that struggled to winch me up to Ayacata yesterday, but Karsten was likely the strongest in our group, and did the bulk of the work on the climb as we sweated behind. The climb is a beautiful one, with a steady gradient, hairpins that open to a steadily widening panorama, but today was no day for sight-seeing; bit in my teeth I fought to the top, and in a deja-vu scenario, could only watch as Pablo soared down the descent into San Bartolome, the young man claiming the last podium spot of the day.  

Once again an event that sets a real benchmark for others to follow: the professionalism in communications, media, results, stars (Cipollini this year, to Oscar Freire, Dani Moreno, David Lopez, Rebellin, Manolo Sainz over the years), atmosphere and general pizzazz, from the samba dancers to the percussion band and of course ‘that’ Sax guy, to the setting infront of the Maspalomas Dunes, truly a fantastic occasion. Congratulations to all the winners, massive thanks to all the support, water and food on the road and feed stations, aaand of course my gorgeous Ewa for eeewwwarything 😘😘❤️❤️🥳🥳🥳 

3rd in M30 category, 9th overall
Its an awesome event

Gracias y hasta la proxima !  

Strava activity

Mr Sax dude. Photo Credit: Mas Eventos Communicacion

Stage 1

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