Stage 9 brief race report!February 11th, 2014 | Posted by in Uncategorized
today’s 102.1km was going to be short but definitely going to be fast for a mountainous stage!
the pace was furious right from KM zero. vinny was ordered by the “boss” Peter Pouly to stay in front and even asked to “go”… and so he went on a pretentious break with some riders for a couple of kilometres… but i guess that was about it…
now, let vinny report what he saw from the back seat just behind Peter (before the climb)
before the start of today’s race, Peter had told vinny to stay close, in case of punctures. today, Peter also did not need water tucked into his back pockets like the previous days… he just needed splashing of water for cool down due to the hot weather. so vinny stayed close… occasionally splashing water at him or passing him a bottle or two.
anyway, a group of 8 left broke away soon after, including Chun-kai Feng (this amazing rider and friend of mine had been involved in almost every stage’s breakaway (netting 2 stage wins so far)
so the breakaway swept the one and only intermediate sprint at KM36.2, followed by the cat 4 KOM at KM56.1
while all these were happening, Team 7eleven and Road Bike Philippines had been in front setting the pace for their GC leader Galedo (and by the way, these two teams are one, similar sponsors and this is the Philippines for goodness sake!)
to make things more interesting, 7-eleven’s manager had promised the team a bonus of 25,000 peso if Galedo had kept the GC lead after stage 9!
so, all 11 riders from the two teams were working for one rider, Galedo, the 2013 SEA Games ITT gold champion and the current GC leader in Ronda Pilipinas!
as we approached the base of the cat HC climb, still some 35km from the finish… the race dynamics suddenly changed… 7-eleven and Road bike Philippines were no longer in control!
Jason Christie of CCN (3 stage wins so far in the tour) was tolling Peter Pouly with the rest of the peleton following tightly behind. the gradient was not steep just yet, but still, Jason was pushing up to 45km/hr out there ALONE… by now, the peleton was pretty much stretched out, with vinny pretty much near the end of the peleton.
this must have went on for about 4km, Jason in front of Peter, followed by the CCN riders… then at the foot before the steeper section of this climb, the breakaway of 8 was caught!
from a distance where vinny would still see the head of matter, he suddenly see Peter suddenly taking over the lead…
this was also when #12 Joshua and #14 Junrey both from the same Team PLDT attacked out of the peleton.
then John Ebsen of CCN (2012 Taiwan Wu Ling KOM champion) went and Peter followed… they both set a very furious pace, preventing anyone else a chance to attack. Peter would then went in front to put some pain, eliminating more riders from this already very elite field of climbers.
they were all together with 15km to go… the climb had not look as steep as the stage profile had presented so far.
bang! Peter and John were suddenly off the front… and quickly a 20′ sec gap opened up! these two mountain goats from France and Denmark were accelerating away from Galedo, Rustom, Junrey and company!
John would push, followed by Peter… and the latter would proved he was too strong today… Peter distanced John with 12km to go…
Peter was now on his way up the last 11km, of the steeper section of the 30km climb… switch backs, steeper gradients and head wind greeted Peter Pouly but nothing was going to stop him today!
behind, Galedo (GC leader), Junrey and Rustom (PLDT), Riemon (Cycleline) and company were battling among themselves while Peter continued to increase his lead ahead.
the chasers then caught John… and with 5km to go, Peter’s lead went up to 55′ secs
at the pace Peter was heading up this climb, he was surely going to bag the full 25 points for KOM honors and take the stage win…
2km to go… Peter now had 1’34 secs over the chasers…
Peter wins stage 9 with Kate, his wife whom had traveled all the way here to watch him, from the team car!
at the finish, Peter won the stage with a 1’50 secs gap over Rustom, 1’52 secs over Galedo and Junrey.
Peter had also take 25 KOM points, giving him a total of 51 points over Rustom’s 34 and Galedo’s 33, almost ensuring he will keep the Mitsubishi Diamond jersey of the best climber, as long as he finishes the Tour!
on GC, Peter had leapfrogged from no.9 (5’40secs) to no.3 (3’42secs)!
what better way to enjoy tomorrow’s rest day, knowing that Team Infinite Singha Peter Pouly had kept his promise!
#onestepcloser is slowly becoming a reality!