Ride Captain’s Account – Climbs and Guts
The most memorable climb came on the stage from Dong Ha to A Loui. I started the stage at the back with our ‘steady’ group. When our rapid group made contact, I let them go past. Pleasingly, several riders dropped off the back and took over from me, taking the responsibility of guiding my group. Free to push on and with legs feeling strong, I made light work of the constant undulations, catching all but four riders ahead by lunch.
After lunch, I rode with a young man who has more guts than most. After suffering with the heat and an upset stomach, he made a heroic effort to finish the day on his bike. We slowly wound our way up the last big climbs of the day: me pushing him where he needed the extra support. Out of nowhere, came two of our strongest riders. They had turned back to meet us. We must have been a sight. With two riders pushing from each side and me pushing one of the ‘pushers’ from the back, we tackled the last steep slope as a team – one I feel very lucky to have been part of.
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