Preview: Tour of Sufferlandria Day 6, 31st January: The breaking point? The Wretched + The Long Scream. 83 minutes.
There are days in Grand Tours where there is no place to hide. You are either going well or you aren’t and either way, you’re going to be found out. This is that day.
And what, exactly is it that is so hard about it? According to course director Grunter Von Agony, it’s simple: “No rest. You get no rest. The race starts. You race like Sufferlandrian Wildebeast chased by Sufferlandrian Raptor chased by Sufferlandrian Minion with very large stick. With nails in it Wrapped in barbed wire. Then you finish. Or are finished. Minion still gets to beat you, though.”
And he’s right. With a stage that covers both The Wretched and The Long Scream, there are several reasons why this might just be the most difficult day of the entire Tour:
- No rest – Neither The Wretched nor The Long Scream has recovery sections. You’re racing for nearly the entire 83 minutes.
- There aren’t many chances left – You think Evans, Wiggins, Martin, Voeckler and all the other big names are just going to sit around on a day like today and let you take the lead? HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH! Fat chance.
- Change of pace – You go from the relentless attacks, cadence changes, terrain changes and tightly-wound anticipation of ‘what’s next?’ in The Wretched to the flat out time trial agony of The Long Scream. Coming into that last 30 minutes is going to be incredibly tough – it’s a difficult shift to make and only the most mentally prepared will cope well.
- You’ve got five days behind you – And those five days are going to seem like a cake walk – after all, those days all gave you a few minutes here and there to recover! And those three climbs in Angels the previous day are mirrored by three big climbs in The Wretched.
How to get through it: We have no idea. Good luck.