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By Christian Vande Velde, CSC Professional Cycling Team
I thought yesterday was hot. Then came today.
Between the two, I spent the hottest two days I have ever spent on the bike. Today at the top of one climb it was 45.5 degrees Celsius. That seems hot to me but when I found out that equates to about 113 Fahrenheit, I realized there was a reason why we all felt so horrible.
Today we trudged through another day in southern Spain. We haven’t broken any records, but we have suffered. On average we all drank about a gallon and a half and then upon arriving at the bus keep drinking like we’ve been in the Sahara for weeks.
I thought that I saw some clouds today but it turned out to be a fire.
Crazy, I’ve never been so excited for cool weather. The fresh water bottles brought up to you by teammates are so nice… for the first five minutes. Then they turn into something akin to tepid bath water. Obviously that is not all that refreshing.
So needless to say, nobody was anxious to attack after the first few were nullified. Well, there was one brave man. Or maybe it’s that he was not so smart. I guess it depends on what your objectives are.
Either way, Javier Pascual Rodriguez, from Comunidad Valenciana, attacked all by himself. One thing is for sure: He is not feeling so spry now.
He was caught easily and the sprinters’ teams set up the sprint. It was all pretty boring actually, and with – who else? – Petacchi winning the day. Par for the course. Nothing else really to report.
One thing that I did think of today was that if every rider drank 11 bottles and there are 196 riders, that means that there about 2000 empty water bottles scattered across the N67 from Córdoba. I know for a fact there was no one out there, so if you need bottles, you know where to look.
Tomorrow will be the same but the suffering will last longer: 232 kilometers of riding in a suntan booth.