BLOG: OUR MAN IN THE EAST
The KFS/Sunday team are getting stuck in at the Tour de Taiwan. KFS rider Dafydd Dylan reports from the bunch
Another day, another bunch sprint. I’m getting used to the routine of this race by now. We’re up well before 7am daily (in fact it’s 5.30 tomorrow) in order to hand in our bags at the hotel reception to be taken over to the next hotel, then eat breakfast with the lads – the contents of which vary from noodles, seafood spaghetti to croissants and hash brown (being told by Harry Lodge [team manager] to avoid seafood at all costs to avoid risks of food poisoning makes this choice much easier).
Then it’s on to the bus to the stage start where it’s the usual routine of changing, massage, sign on, put gels bars and rolls in the back pocket, ask each other whether it’s a ‘white over-socks day’, then off to the start line.
All in all today’s stage was good for us. It was another city centre crit of 88km in Taichung, a simple circuit with no major corners and a slight uphill finish straight. Once again we were all active, always having a dig off the front and following the moves. Kieran in particular impressed me today – he is only 18 and in his fourth senior road race, dishing it out at the front of a UCI 2.2 categorised event. Good for him.
There was only one move that even looked like it could do something today, which I managed to get into, so it took the pressure off the boys in the bunch, but we only stayed away for about six laps before being reeled in. Team Merida managed to organise a lead-out train for the last few laps and their sprinter won the stage again but we all came in safely at the same time, and were quick to get some cold coke and High Five energy drink down us which hit the spot perfectly.
Once we arrived at the hotel it was business as usual; shower, wash kit in the sink, eat, massage, banter (most of which is along the lines of “did you see me beasting it off the front that time into the back straight?.. No? Well you must have been at the back because honestly I did…”) then lying on bed keeping nicely hydrated and watching movies.
The hotels have been very luxurious. In fact they’re gradually improving at every stage transfer – the executive suite that I’m sat in right now is a far cry from the motel we stayed in on the outskirts of Taipei a week ago, where we saw a couple of ‘Mr and Mrs Smiths’ checking in, but we have no complaints whatsoever as far as the hospitality is concerned.
So things are good at camp KFS tonight. There is no sign of rain, the legs feel good and we are all looking forward to getting stuck into a hard day of racing tomorrow. Let’s hope that it’s a successful one and a move with one of us in stays away. If not, then there’s always the day after tomorrow.