With a stage win already to their name, and fifth place overall well established, the Novus OMX Pro Team boys didn’t plan anything special for the long, open stage from Elgin to Worcester. On a course that didn’t suite their strengths, Martin and Fabian decided that consolidating their overall position by not losing time to the teams behind them, and saving themselves for another shot at a stage podium, was the best strategy.
With this is mind, when the leading group that they were in early in the stage began to really up the pace and the suffering started, the pair dropped back with Centurion Vaude and USN to form a six man chase. Six then became four: a small group to ride into such a strong headwind on the fast fireroad tracks…
“If I had known there was such a long, flat section coming with such a strong wind, I would have suffered harder to try and stay with the group”, reflected Martin.
Of course, retrospect gives us a lot of ‘would, could and should haves’ but Martin and Fabian stuck to their strategy and then out-sprinted Centurion Vaude at the finish line to take seventh on the stage. It was another strong and sensible ride which puts them in a great position for the coming stages.
Today’s long stage coupled with a scorching hot sun and strong wind, made for a very tough day in the saddle for Mariske and Cherie. The Novus OMX Pro Team girls battled hard all the way to the finish, Mariske doing the lion’s share on the front whilst Cherie eked out every ounce of energy from a body that “just said no”.
In spite of everything, the girls amazingly finished again in a strong eighth place.
Cherie was a spent force at the finish, struggling to get off the bike and gather her legs and her thoughts. Cherie did amazingly to keep her composure and retain positivity after such a gruelling test.
Tomorrow is a new day, a new stage and a new challenge that we know the girls will take on with true professionalism and refreshed smiles.