Tour of Sufferlandria preview - Day 5 - January 30th - Angels
Five days into the Tour of Sufferlandria, and it's certainly been - withe exception of the big climb on Day 2 - a Tour for rouleurs.
That all changes now. Grunter von Agony was a diabolical genius when he designed today's course. "The stage, it starts easy enough. You can take your donkey to ride along the pack at the start - not too hard. Then - flat and fast. A perfect place for someone like Luis Leon Sanchez to attack. The Sufferlandrian maidens like Sanchez, so we give them something to cheer for. Then hills. Big hills. You take tissue with you in jersey pocket. You going to cry."
If Sanchez does attack, you'll have to follow as you don't want to give anyone any time before the climbs. Don't underestimate the run-in to those climbs, either - it's not a place you can win the tour, but you can lose it here. And at least one big name might be struggling at this point.
Then: Three long climbs in quick succession. Each climb is different - the first is rolling and while there are gradient changes, it's not a place you're likely to see many attacks. The second climb gets harder as you go higher - you'll need to crush yourself to stay with the group here. Don't plan on leaving anyone behind, but don't let anyone go.
The third climb? You might have heard of it: Alpe d'Huez. The Minions went over to France last month and dug it up and shipped it over to Sufferlandria especially for The Tour. This is THE spot where anyone could win the Tour. Be ready for a LOT of attacks - winning the sprint at the top is essential to overall GC glory, so DO NOT GET DROPPED AND DO NOT LOSE THAT SPRINT PUNK.
How to get through it: If you haven't got one yet, it might be a good idea to get a massage after your four days on Tour so far. Otherwise, make sure you're well hydrated and fueled up. If your delicate bits are feeling a little bit more delicate than normal, be sure to use chamois creme. It helps. As for the stage: Measure your effort over the flat run-in to the three climbs. If you cook yourself here, you're going to fall apart in the mountains. The last climb is a real beast and you'll likely be hanging on by the skin of your teeth. If you have any teeth left after the second climb. Take it one minute at a time and you'll get to the top ready for that sprint.
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