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Stage Three - A Day In The Rain
9 Sep, 2003

Honestly it feels like stage 10 already!  The race has been full on with very few relaxing moments.  I don't know how much longer it can go on like this before the peloton self-explodes and guys end up all over the show...Maybe tomorrow will be the day.  Although we've only had 2 proper road stages so far, they've been hard and fast.  We go from the gun and there's little time to take in anything else besides the tarmac and the guy's butt in front of ya!

Tomorrow's stage greets us with a very difficult Cat. 1 climb in the first 50km, as we make our way to the finish in the city of Burgos.  I can't wait....?!?!?!

Today was a typical Asturian day with pissing sideways rain.  Unfortunately, this didn't deter anybody and we raced full gas from the start to the end. It was always going to be a sprint today as it was one of the few chances that the sprinters would have.  Moreover, Petacchi wants to win so that he can go home.  And that he did!  With a dodge sprint in the pissing rain, he once again showed he is the master of the moment....actually of a lot of moments this year!  When he opened up in the final, he made the rest of us look silly.  He has truly been incredible this year and today he stamped his authority once more....just incase we didn't get it the first 20 times!

Although I gave it a good nudge in the final, when I hit out in the last 200m, I just didn't have it.  I felt good until it came time to open up for the sprint and then, at the crucial moment, I just didn't have the power to be truly competitive.  I just didn't have the sensations I've felt at other times this year when I've sprinted well.  Not to worry though, I was happy with 4th today.  I gave it a good go and still managed a not-so-bad result. It was great for my confidence because I had no support from my team at all, and I still managed to get myself in a good position to contest the sprint. Fighting for position is never easy without guys to help.

I hope there'll be more chances for me later.  More importantly, I hope my power finds it way back down into my legs real soon, to what it can be and needs to be to win.  I'd love to win a stage here in a bunch sprint.  Spain is my home away from home now so it'd be cool to get a victory on my home turf.

First things first though, I've got to get my pedal pumpers over those mountains....

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