Today's stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour was my first ITT of 2018. I’m happy with my result (finished sixth) and how I rode and executed on a very flat and windy course against a strong World Tour field.
I went into the stage with what I felt was a solid plan after seeing the course a few hours before. I opted to go without a radio so I could focus on my effort. The course wasn’t especially technical, but at race speed, wide-open corners and those sketchy cat-eyes require a bit more ability than the slower-paced recon indicated.
The world champ started a minute behind me, so that lit a bit of fire and caused me to go out a little too quickly. On the longer headwind sections heading back to the finish, I definitely had to fight to hold on.
I was super pumped to see Rohan pull off the big win and BMC Racing Team stack six riders in the top 25!! Such a testament to our collective preparation and all the support the team gives us behind-the-scenes so we can do our best.
Tomorrow is the final stage and it will be brutal. We are doing 190 kilometers of flat racing in the windy desert before tackling a massive climb to finish it off. Clearly, the team is strong so it will come down to managing our resources and making our efforts count. I would love the chance to fight it out on the climb, but priority # 1 will be 'all in' for Rohan!