British-born World Tour rider Nic Dougall is making his Grand Tour debut in the late summer sun of this year’s Vuelta e Espana. The Team Dimension Data For Qhubeka engine room stoker will be dropping Ciclissimo! a postcard from the hotel lobby to chronicle his maiden 3 week voyage whenever it doesn’t impinge upon his sangria time. Guappa!
4th September, 2016: Sabinanigo – Sallent de Gallego-Aramon Formigal (118km)
“Hey guys, sorry – have been under the pump a bit the last few days. You watch today? It was insane. 90 riders dropped in the first 20 kms. And I can tell you that we didn’t sit up and let them go. They rode us off the wheel – Oh, don’t get me wrong: It was an amazing race! It must have been fantastic TV to watch. And those 70 guys that actually managed to race the whole way today deserve a sh*t load of respect.
Kristian (Sbaragli) rode the Vuelta last year. He has the same amount of fatigue in 14 days that he had last year after the whole race. That’s a whole extra week of fatigue crammed into seven less days. It’s been insane. Guys are genuinely empty. Not just the ones at the front. Everyone is suffering big time; the thing that’s been destroying people is the first two hours of racing. There hasn’t been an easy break go all tour. But they don’t show that on TV unfortunately (although I hear that some channels showed the two full days this weekend – that’s good: At least then everyone knows what’s happening!). The best racing has sometimes been the first two hours. Should be a sprint day tomorrow to Peniscola but you never know at this race – some guys are probably going to get sh*t on by their directors tonight so could be a hard start…
The only place where there is a semblance of order in the whole Vuelta…