Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 Tour de Taiwan

The bubble is burst – for 10 days I lived in a world where all I did was race and think about the next stage. The Tour de Taiwan took us on a complete trip around around the island. The landscapes changed but other than the first two days, the weather remained very 'Irish'.

In the past, I have ridden on a couple of teams, but until this group of races, I had not really ridden FOR a team. As the races get bigger and the focus on the top prize becomes more narrow, dynamics change – it is something that I looked forward to learning about and experiencing but I would be lying to say I didn't put myself on a steep learning curve. The role as a domestique is pretty straightforward from the outside – do what is needed when the team (or team leader) needs it to 100%. Sometimes, this is easier said then done! A shift from focusing on your own goals (in mountain biking) to sacrificing them for the team. If your task is to “go full gas” before a selective point, to make the racing hard, then you ride until you feel your legs are going to fall off – getting dropped afterwards bedamned... As long as you make the time cut, your job is done.

Leading out into a selective climb

Sometimes, it was a little wet!

The racing was tough throughout – I felt pretty bad for the first half of the race – not exactly the shining opening that I had been training for but as everyone knows, these things happen. I'm not sure what happened, I felt like something had attached to my body with the sole purpose of slowing me down – movement was hard – maybe it was the crash in Malaysia, or I picked up something from those wet long days racing with weeping wounds? Towards the end of the stage race though, I felt better and better – I would wake in the morning fresh and ready for racing rather than wondering how I would leave my bed to go to the bathroom let alone race 160km. Today – the day after the finish, I sit with renewed energy wanting to race – wanting to push on the pedals, try and tear the cranks off. A little frustrating. Well – at least I have a race coming up this weekend in Ireland - there always is another race :)

Our team

Our team won a stage, grabbed a couple of second places in stages, second place overall and were the second placed team. A few seconds in there and only a few off the GC. The team has been a great support structure – the soigneurs, mechanics and masseurs worked long hours to make sure we were ready every day – THANKS!

Photos are from the Giant Kenda Pro Cycling Facebook page. Full results, more photos and some videos are available on the Tour de Taiwan website. Thank you Taiwan for a great race.


Steve said...

Awesome effort matey, don't know how you manage it.

What a pity they didn't have you riding around Sun Moon Lake for an entire lap, its such a beautiful place.

I used to live right near Cheng Ching Lake in Kaohsiung, its just to the east of the city centre.

Did you get to see much of the place as a tourist afterwards?

Ryan Sherlock said...


Yeah - the lake did seem really beautiful - as we raced I didin't notice it much but afterwards and the transfer back it looked cool.

We were tourists last night in Taipai briefly, but a Monday night is not the best night to hit the town.

Today I have been staying close to the Airport so there wasn't actually much to see. I did look around a bit while we raced though (when the peleton gave us a chance) - some stunning views - but the weather was not really playing ball...