Dot Watcher's Blog 6: The Relentless Road

In the early hours of the morning James Hayden (#1) checked in to CP3 finally taking a clear lead in this race. We read that he was a little worried about the distance between him and Bjorn Lenhard (#2) so it seems he sacrificed a night's sleep to gain the edge. Bjorn didn't move for what seemed like hours, and when he finally reached CP3 we found out why: 

Bjorn.jpg
"Second place rider @bjoernlenhard #TRCNo6cap2 has had a bad day. He was forced to walk to the CP after his tubeless tire got sliced on the parcours. The previous day was rough, traffic and a headwind was made worse when he ran out of food and water. He arrived at CP3 close to tears, yet somehow, still smiling. He’s had two cakes and two sprites and he’s now fixing his bike, eager to get going again. Hero! 📷 @jprobertson⛰ @kinesisbikes_uk #odrodzeniehotel"

At the time of writing this Bjorn is about 140kms behind James, but he has had a long break so James can't rest on his laurels yet. 

The next few remain the same as yesterday but not quite in the same order - Stephane Ouaja (#12), Christoph Furbach (#146), Martin Temmen (#143), Alexandre Bourgeonnier (#148) and Thomas Lupin (#157). 

Let's take a quick look at a few other riders in the top twenty.

René Bonn (#158) currently 9th, attempted TCRNo5 but got a tummy bug on the 3rd day so had to scratch. He seems to be going strong this year though even though he did ride completely past CP1 and Juliana had to holler for him to come back. He's not the first to miss a checkpoint and won't be the last...

Moroccan Mohamed El Alami (#214) is now 7th  - he rode through the rain yesterday to sneak up on Sněžka from behind, approaching CP3 from the north side. The first rider to do this. It makes sense as when approached from the South riders will have to descend before they ascend, and this eliminates that. Still, his route adds to the mileage.  

214.jpg
 Mohamed El Alami (#214)

Mohamed El Alami (#214)

 Thomas Egger (#68)

Thomas Egger (#68)

Secondary school teacher Thomas Egger (#68) is currently sat in 17th position. A passionate cyclist who claims to especially love the mountains, which is no surprise because he lives in Switzerland and used to take part in mountain pass rides such as the Ötztaler or the Alpenbrevet. He has also everested Kerenzerberg. 

 

 

 

 

Alexandre Le Roux (#186) stumbled upon a curious water source earlier: 

  alexleroux2  "Where is K?"

alexleroux2 "Where is K?"

 There you are Alex I fixed it for you

There you are Alex I fixed it for you

Joshua Cunningham (#98) is battling with the hills of Austria:

JoshC1.jpg
 There you are Josh I fixed it for you

There you are Josh I fixed it for you

A special mention to Jürgen Knupe (#46) who, despite his delayed start sits in an incredible 18th position currently. 

Jurgen1.jpg
 There you go Jürgen I fixed it for you

There you go Jürgen I fixed it for you

 

The Middle Pack

It's been five long, hard days on the road for these riders, and their suffering is all too real. Whether it's mechanical, physical, mental or environmental, someone out there is experiencing it. Many aren't even half way through their race and adding to their woes is the control points packing up around of them. So this section is dedicated to those in the middle or end of the pack, who are our heroes for giving it a go, for pushing on and continuing to move their dot no matter how hard going it is.

We give you full permission to have a good ol' whinge!

 

Mechanical Whinges

I'm no bike expert but that doesn't look quite right to me:

 Raymond Dulieu (103)

Raymond Dulieu (103)

Anna Petters (#97) had no third plate for a while:

 Anna Petters (#97)  "No more third plate... managed to stripe it to the frame and bike 20 k on it.. bike store opens at 9. It’s gonna be a hard climb at CP 2 without. Dammit! Hope you are good out there, I’ll catch up 😊  #veloform   #tcrno6   #tcrno6cap97

Anna Petters (#97)

"No more third plate... managed to stripe it to the frame and bike 20 k on it.. bike store opens at 9. It’s gonna be a hard climb at CP 2 without. Dammit! Hope you are good out there, I’ll catch up 😊 #veloform #tcrno6 #tcrno6cap97

 Arnoldas Jaksas (#134)

Arnoldas Jaksas (#134)

Those damn punctures:

 David Hawkins (#40)

David Hawkins (#40)

 Jakom Dieckmann (#191) "Flat tire on the descent. One of many. More on that tomorrow."

Jakom Dieckmann (#191) "Flat tire on the descent. One of many. More on that tomorrow."

 Meg Pugh (#138) "Puncture. But Slovenia and CP2 around the corner..."

Meg Pugh (#138) "Puncture. But Slovenia and CP2 around the corner..."

 Anna Petters (#97) is having a run of bad luck

Anna Petters (#97) is having a run of bad luck

 

Physical Whinges

Erika Rowen's (#100) sore rear end has got us all twitching in our seats:

Erika.jpg
Erika2.jpg

Svenja Schrade (#185) is struggling with neck pain, but she must ride through the night if she is to make it to CP2 before it closes.

 Svenja Schrade (#185)

Svenja Schrade (#185)

Ouchies:

 Karolina Maciejewska (#63)

Karolina Maciejewska (#63)

Michal Plech's swollen hands have caused him to scratch:

 "I’d like to announce with regret that I have to scratch from  @thetranscontinental   #tcrno6  I have been paying a heavy price for the first three days of super hot weather. Yesterday was ok but last night cycle just pushed me over the limit. My hands has swollen and simply holding to my handlebars feels like someone tries to put nails through them. Today the sun is already high up and the roads from now on will only get worst... so time to go to sleep and recover.  #tcrno6cap57 "

"I’d like to announce with regret that I have to scratch from @thetranscontinental #tcrno6 I have been paying a heavy price for the first three days of super hot weather. Yesterday was ok but last night cycle just pushed me over the limit. My hands has swollen and simply holding to my handlebars feels like someone tries to put nails through them. Today the sun is already high up and the roads from now on will only get worst... so time to go to sleep and recover. #tcrno6cap57"

Sometimes you just need a bit of company:

 Alessandro Perri (#226)

Alessandro Perri (#226)

 Ryan Le Garrec (#152)

Ryan Le Garrec (#152)

It's an emotional roller coaster:

 Yannick Banville (#78) "By far the most emotionally hard day of the last 5 days... I love the climbs but when it takes you like 6h to cover 25km it's just hard. 190km with 3600m of elevation gain..  #tcrno6   #TCRNo6cap78 "

Yannick Banville (#78) "By far the most emotionally hard day of the last 5 days... I love the climbs but when it takes you like 6h to cover 25km it's just hard. 190km with 3600m of elevation gain.. #tcrno6 #TCRNo6cap78"

Other riders are simply losing their minds:

 No James, it's definitely Friday today

No James, it's definitely Friday today

Weather Whinges

When its raining it's RAINING:

 Andreas Wittkemper (#8)

Andreas Wittkemper (#8)

I know, I haven't showered in a while... #tcrno6 #tcrno6cap90

A post shared by Tom Hudders (@tom_hudders) on

But when it's hot, it is HOT:

 Nicholas Finch (#174) "In Bovec, it's baking hot"

Nicholas Finch (#174) "In Bovec, it's baking hot"

 James IIllman (#131)

James IIllman (#131)

The headwinds:

 Doug Thomson (#147)

Doug Thomson (#147)

 Tom Probert (#135) "Pushing up north through Austria. Looks good doesn’t it? What you can’t see is the savage head wind! "

Tom Probert (#135) "Pushing up north through Austria. Looks good doesn’t it? What you can’t see is the savage head wind! "

 

Terrain Whinges

The hills, oh the hills:

 Mark Charles (#99)

Mark Charles (#99)

 Jason Smith (#106)

Jason Smith (#106)

The gravel:

 Stuart Birnie (#142)

Stuart Birnie (#142)

 Caroline Item (#91)

Caroline Item (#91)

Perhaps gravel isn't looking so bad now Caroline:

 Caroline Item (#91)

Caroline Item (#91)

Everyone needs a release once in a while:

 Richard Gate (#161)

Richard Gate (#161)

In other news...

Our beady eyed dot-watchers are always watching. Here's what our riders have really been up to:

 Mark Lison (#23)

Mark Lison (#23)

 Caroline Item (#91) searching for her sanity

Caroline Item (#91) searching for her sanity

 

Charles Christiansen went to the pub:

Whilst his partner Nico went to the police:

 Charles Christiansen (#256a)

Charles Christiansen (#256a)

 Nico Deportago-Cabrera (#256b)

Nico Deportago-Cabrera (#256b)

And Frank Thies (#206) went to Far East Russia

 Frank Thies (#206)

Frank Thies (#206)

But you can find Luca Somm (#259a) and Oliver Bieri (259b) here every year:

259.jpg

Bye for now, next blog will be Sunday!