Eat. Sleep. Ride. Repeat.

Not content with riders climbing a volcano, a glacier and three mountains, Mike Hall's evil master plan includes a third control in the heart of the Dolomites for the sole purpose of 'keeping riders in the mountains for longer and out of the flat lands of the Italian Po Valley'. 

The parcours for control 3 begins at Alleghe.  A beautiful but brutal climb with a long straight approach from the West, riders will see exactly what is being asked of them with a steep and twisting decent into the Biois Valley testing their brakes and handling skills.  From here they will climb via the 'old' road through Selva di Cadore to Control 3, the top of the Passo di Giau (2236m). 

Kristof Allegaert (003) arrived at Control 3 just after 3pm this afternoon looking fresh as a daisy. We believe he took a quick power nap here, and was soon off again, aiming for what looks like the b100 drautal straße to Spittal an dur Drau, to begin his route South.

Kristof Allegaert (001) arrives at Control 3

Kristof Allegaert (001) arrives at Control 3

For Kristof fans, here are some facts about him:

  • Kristof eats bullets and nails as snacks
  • He wears sunglasses so that his eyes won't hurt the sun
  • Kristof's jersey is actually made from a cloth they found in the meteorite he hatched out of
  • His day job is to power Belgium's national grid on his turbo
  • And so on.

To get your Kristof hit for the day, watch Apidura's video here:

Here are a few more shots taken from CP2 & CP3 today:

Control 2 - Sponsored by Kinesis BIkes

Control 2 - Sponsored by Kinesis BIkes

 

Movers & Shakers

Carlos Mazon (060) looks likely to be the second man into CP3. Bjorn Lenhard (026) is only an hour behind, but is taking what looks to be a slightly longer Southerly route via Predazzo. Also close is Neil Phillips (172) who is cutting right through the middle of Carlos and Bjorn's routes. Just behind Neil is Hans-Rudolf Nyfeler (56) who we haven't mentioned before, so either he put in some serious effort today to get into top 5 or we missed his flag yesterday in our sleep deprived state. Hans-Rudolf is a highly-decorated ultra cyclist, he came first overall in the over 50's category for RAAM 2014 and came third in Race around Ireland in 2015, amongst other achievements. 

Behind the top 5 in current order are Mathias Dalgas (150), Peter Sandholt (077), Alexandre Bourgeonnier (002), Ultan Coyle (004), Nelson Trees (080), Matija Ilic (105) and Andy Sallnow (144). All to play for. The riders have started to thin out now giving us a clear view of current positioning. What we don't know is who has and hasn't slept properly, and as these riders won't make CP3 before midnight, it will be interesting to see who rides through and who take rest on the mountain. 

Completely separate to the main group is Stuart Birnie (142) and not far behind, Jurgen Knupe (046). Stuart reported that his route was about to take him onto a (banned) autostrada so he had to reroute.  Stuart may turn this re-route into an opportunity, attempting to thwart Mike's evil plan by avoiding the mountains completely and cycling an extra (but flatish) 120kms to use the back entrance of CP3. We hope when he gets there he creeps up behind Mike and shouts boo. Given that he's a TT champ, this route could work in his favour, but we do wonder if he's still got all his marbles as his last tweet showed that he thought he'd just cycled through Sweden. 

PedalEd were out on the road today between CP2 & CP3 asking riders Stefan Slegl (140), Samuli Mäkinen (84) and Stephane Ouaja (012) how they slept last night:

Keep up to date with PedalEd's #TCRNo4 Photo of the Day here.

Scratchers

Six official scratchers for the today, starting with Adrian Bailey (035), Xavier Pesnel (132) and Lara Prior-Palmer (180).

Also , one half of pair team Joseph Duffy (210) leaving George Marshall to continue the race solo:

Joseph Duffy (210) leaving George Marshall (210) to continue the race solo

Joseph Duffy (210) leaving George Marshall (210) to continue the race solo

And now official, Jesper Sørensen (048) has scratched. We last reported Jesper heading North for a short spell, then back South - this was likely to have something to do with the food poisoning he contracted from a bad chicken sandwich (and not from capturing Pokemon, as we speculated). Another pair member Lamri Adjis (229) has also scratched, with Giorsio Raboen (229) remaining in the race - Despite losing his partner Giorsio still seems in great spirits:

Giorsio Raboen (229)

Giorsio Raboen (229)

In other news...

Darren Franks's (114) body parts have taken to Twitter to protest about unfair work conditions. @Darrensarse started the revolt and @Darrensballs were quick to pitch in. We hope for Darren's sake that no other body parts join in and they can resolve the dispute without losing any members.

(Image credit: Janis Sipkovs and Clive O'Connell)

(Image credit: Janis Sipkovs and Clive O'Connell)

Nick Pusinelli (139) and Mikko Mäkipää (044) took the road less travelled through the mountains today:

But then the parcours from CP2 to CP3 doesn't look a whole lot better:

Rory Kemper's (116) Fruit of the day is an orange. We'll keep you up to date on all fruit developments from Rory.

There are distinctly less food shots coming on today, indicating how difficult it is to come by. Charles Batho (159) and Darren Franks (114) don't seem to be having any problems though:

Charles Batho (159)

Charles Batho (159)

Darren Franks (114)

Darren Franks (114)

Darren Franks (114)

Darren Franks (114)

Rob Jordan (061) found a luxury apartment to spend the night in, whereas Lars Jørgen Landsem (009), did not. And to add insult to injury the automatic sprinklers turned on him at 5am. Nice wake up call.

Rob Jordan (061)

Rob Jordan (061)

Lars Jørgen Landsem (009)

Lars Jørgen Landsem (009)

We'll leave you this evening with a quote from Haruki Murakami:

"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about."