The opening stage of the Tour of China 1 was characterised by consistent moderate to heavy rain and extremely slick roads! It was a bit hard to see, and there were countless crashes. The circuit nature of the race was appreciated, as you could learn which corners could be taken slowly, and which corners had to be taken at ridiculously slow speeds!
The racing was very aggressive and Jack got in one of the early breaks for us. Unfortunately his group was caught and eventually another break went clear- we were not in this one. Don, Tom and Sam were all used to chase and all but 2 were brought back before the last 2 laps. The three designated sprinters for the finish- AJ, Jack and myself- jostled for position and managed to get around the final corner (600m from finish) behind one teams lead out train. AJ launched from this point and we sailed right past! Jack took it up with around 350 to go and the speed was really building. I opened my sprint at about 200 to go and locked my sights onto the two leaders. We were mowing them down, but JUST fell short! Third place- good, but could have easily been a win. The best thing about the result was the great team effort, especially the final 600m from AJ and Jack, the timing was perfect!
Tomorrow looks to be flat and wet again, and then we have some hills- it should be good, stay tuned!