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Mike Torckler - The Pain in Spain
26 Jun, 2009 - Mike Torckler
I have just completed the Vuelta a la Montaņa Central de Asturias which as it sounds was based in the central mountains of asturias also meaning there were some solid climbs with the matching descents to keep things interesting.
I was riding with a different team for the race, apparently it is normal for them to import riders for this race to help them win...no pressure...
 
I knew the climbs of the first stage and also the descents which helped alot, it was a very wet but warm day just to make things a little tricky for us. The race was fast but controled untill the first climb where i started at the front knowing the road was about to get narrow, a solid tempo was set for most of the climb then as we neared the top things started to heat up a little, i crested 5th and quickly went past my regular team mate and chased on the dangerous descent, joining 2 team mates part way down, off the bottom there was 25km remaining and 2 more climbs, i wasnt going to sacrifice myself for these other 2 guys and neither were they for me, this was really frustrating and could have cost us the tour.
Over the next climb still the 3 of us and i bombed the descent, coming into one corner abit hot my team mate following me hit the deck, off the bottom of this there was only a couple of km before the final ascent, I wasn't feeling so great and was going really deep to hold my team mates wheel, one guy caught us and surged past i dropped the wheel momentarily but found some more to catch up again, i just suffered all the way to the top, every time this guy stood up i would drop 5 meters but kept coming back untill i cracked, i only lost 15secs to him and was 3rd in the stage.
 
The next day i felt awful, i was creeping and suffering up the climbs, but i saw a move coming together after 45mins or so and went across, it worked, there was 19 of us, and about 10 guys who really wanted to work, we rocketed straight out to 2mins, virtual  yellow for me, it was a hard windy day with 4 shortish climbs, we got out to 2.45 and the yellow jersey team pretty well all detonated, everyone was thinking i would be the new leader but the guy in yellow had other ideas, as he single handedly controlled us and caught us!! I (and every one else in the race) couldn't believe this, it was incredible.
 
The last day and again feeling average, the finish was a 9km climb then a very technical descent with only 1 km after this to the finsih. I waited and waited then had a crack over the top of the 2nd to last climb, it worked, i had a gap with 2 others and we ripped across to the break, with team mates there to drive things, but again 5 km from the fina ascent we were caught by this guy in yellow and his team, i grabbed a coke and that livened things up nicely, 2nd on GC attacked just before the last climb and went out to 30secs, i waited and waited as yellow set a solid tempo, at 4km to the summit there was a little action then 1 km later I hit out hard and got a gap, catching the guy solo right at the top, knowing the descent i went straight past him and started to get loose going as hard as i could, it worked, and i finsihed solo 25secs clear for my first win and moving to 2nd on GC.

Click to enlarge...
Uphill battle for Torckler pays off

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