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:
"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.
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:
Joshua Cunningham (#98) is battling with the hills of Austria:
A special mention to Jürgen Knupe (#46) who, despite his delayed start sits in an incredible 18th position currently.
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!
I'm no bike expert but that doesn't look quite right to me:
Anna Petters (#97) had no third plate for a while:
Those damn punctures:
Erika Rowen's (#100) sore rear end has got us all twitching in our seats:
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.
Michal Plech's swollen hands have caused him to scratch:
Sometimes you just need a bit of company:
It's an emotional roller coaster:
Other riders are simply losing their minds:
When its raining it's RAINING:
But when it's hot, it is HOT:
The hills, oh the hills:
Perhaps gravel isn't looking so bad now Caroline:
Everyone needs a release once in a while:
In other news...
Our beady eyed dot-watchers are always watching. Here's what our riders have really been up to:
Charles Christiansen went to the pub:
Whilst his partner Nico went to the police:
And Frank Thies (#206) went to Far East Russia
But you can find Luca Somm (#259a) and Oliver Bieri (259b) here every year:
Bye for now, next blog will be Sunday!