XC Racer Blog Post

Nearly there... stages 4 and 5 complete

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BY: Dave Henderson

Published: 3rd March, 2012

Stage 4 and 5

For stage 4 the race start was in a different location and a long transfer in the Kango! It boasted some of the most exposed and hot climbing conditions but was rewarded by some of the best descents of the race so far (not that you really have time to enjoy them!) Again the tactic was to ride safe and try to avoid mechanicals and crashes with the longest day of the race to follow. After a gruelling 70km it was all over but the impending "Queen stage" on the following day was at the forefront of our minds.


At 86 kilometres long and 2741m of climbing, this was going to be a killer and could decide the final position of the race so it was all to play for. The first 10km were steady climbing so the groups stayed together and we went through the first feed in a round 20th position but with 20km of climbing still to come we sat steady and paced our effort. By the 2nd feed we were pulling back a few places and maintaining a good pace. Up to the last climb and the race had blown to pieces. People were falling off their bikes at the side of the track as the gradients and temperature rose. We grinded our way up and up and rolled through the third feed taking a welcome cold coke in a strong 11th place. We held this all the way to finish and managed to climb up one position on GC. We now sit in a strong position with one day to go only 1 minute off of 10th place and 4.5 minutes from 9th - so it is all to play for on the final day!

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Dave Henderson

Elite riders Dave Henderson and Gareth Montgomerie race for Team GT and represent Scotland across the European race circuit.


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