At the front of the race was Bjorn Lenhard in cap 2 arriving at Control Point 2 at 09:39 on Wednesday Aug. 1 while cap number 1, James Hayden arrived to get his stamp at 10:47. Bernd Paul, cap 15, pulled up to the control at 12:37. All three looking a little road-weary but happy enough to greet volunteers and crew with smiles and time for a few pleasantries. James seemed, uncharacteristically for him, a little anxious about Bjorn’s strong lead but his experience seems to be holding him in good stead as he maintains his race strategy. Bernd is suffering a little from the sun but so far displays little more than patches of mild sunburn to knees and arms.
As the day went on James Hayden maintained a close distance behind Bjorn while Bernd Paul began to drop further back. James and Bjorn taking different routes in the Austrian town of Trieben, James turning northeast towards Slezthal and Bjorn choosing to go north via Sankt Gallen.
Behind the top three, it was Thomas Dupin in cap 157 who reached Control Point 2 next placing him in fourth for now. He rolled in at 16:30. Any mechanical issues Stephane, cap 12, had the day before seemed to have been resolved as he arrived at CP2 in fifth position just over an hour later.
Matthew Falconer, cap 5, showed stamina as he reached the control in ninth place despite tweeting the day before: “Today was a struggle. Paid the cost for not having enough food and no power as a result.”
In 10th and 11th place were pair James Craven, 253a, and Jonathan Rankin, 253b who reached Control Point 2 at 21:34. Despite the apparent advantages it has been shown again and again that racing as a pair presents plenty of issues. However, this pair continue to prove themselves a powerhouse, winning great kudos with their Instagram stories along the way.
In 24th place at the time of writing, Ben Davies caused a stir in cap 195. At Innsbruck most riders have headed south and then on the A13 and then cut east towards Control Point 2 via Bruneck. But Ben decided to continue heading northeast from Innsbruck and follow the river round until Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße where he turned sharply south towards Mangart.
He tweeted: “I've had a lot of messages on my #TCRNo6 route today. My thought process had been that where there are road warnings the "done thing" would be to route well away.... My mistake. Not sure on the loss yet but the race is long and I will try and make up.”
Storms between Rorschach on Lake Constance and Gaschurn made for a tranche of sodden riders arriving at Control Point 1 through the evening. Cap 190, Giannis Massas, posted a video showing the strong winds he was facing. Cap 100, Erika Rowen said: “Anyone watching my dot: I’m gonna hunker down through these storms. Thunder and lighting and rain don’t mix well with a gal who gets cold REAL FAST.”
For riders at Control Point 1 in the afternoon it was a tough call between continuing in an effort to get ahead of the incoming rain, gritting their teeth and riding through it or sitting tight to wait it out. Among those that braved the climb despite the incoming front were cap 224 Isobel Jobling, 138 Meg Pugh and 106 Jason Smith.
Photographer James Robertson who was shooting pictures up the Bielerhöhe Pass saw riders huddling in bus stops to avoid getting drenched.
Jonah Jones, cap 122, is riding with a fractured pelvis and still managed to arrive at CP1 by 12:48 today.
Brompton rider Roger Seaton has made it to CP1 at the time of writing and news just in that Bernd Paul, cap 15, has had to scratch after a fall. “Fell off the bike last night - and hardly can't walk. Nothing serious - but need to take the train. Might rest a few days before I'm able to start the trip back home... sorry.” This is deeply disappointing for Bernd who has yet to finish a TCR despite frequent strong starts. We are sorry to see him have to go home too early once again and wish him a speedy recovery.