Stage/Finish: Linares › Almadén
Distance: 195.1 kilometers - flat
Weather: 103.5F/39.5C - sunny.hot
Images ©Chris Auld
Stage 8 was mostly about getting us across Spain and closer to the next block of stages. That meant an hour before the race in the bus, five hours on the bike and another 2.5 hours transfer in the cars after the race.
We are creeping our way north, but the temps were still searing hot, possibly the hottest of the race so far.
Not too much to report from out on the road other than lots of trips to the cars for bottles. It was impossible to get enough fluids and eating on the bike gets challenging when it’s this hot.
Tomorrow is a massive day, so I focused on getting in foods and liquids. It felt similar to what you’d think eating while exercising in a sauna would be---not at all appetizing.
The sprinter’s teams who chased didn’t make it easy on themselves after giving the three brave (crazy?) breakaway guys a gap of 12 minutes. There was a little bit of panic and urgency in the chase around 70-100 kilometers in, but as predicted, the small group on big roads faded once they hit the three-hour mark.
The BMC guys wanted to give Dylan another shot in the punchy uphill finish and did our best to position him into that final roundabout. He ended just outside the top 10.
Now it is one day between Monday’s rest day and us, but tomorrow is a doozy with over 4000 meters of climbing and a hard, long summit finish. Let’s hope the climbing legs are ready.