The introduction is definitely over, today Beskidy MTB Trophy treated us to a killer stage, bodies and bikes lay in taters at the finish. Those making it to the finish are all winners having covered the 84km classic distance or 66km shorter distance.
The race started at a rather sedate pace meaning a large group formed at the front. The steep concrete climb at 15km split the group but it quickly reformed on the tarmac on route to the big climb of the day. Rysianka mountain rose above us, 800 metres of ascent with many steep sections, the race was blown to taters. By the top Torsten Mutziltz and myself had a 2 minute gap over Ryan Sherlock.
If the TV programme Jackass wanted to ride some crazy mountain bike descent they would probably choose the one off of the Rysianka. It was pure madness! The start was a cliff top trail with huge off camber roots. Then a right turn which plummeted riders down the mountain over huge rocks. Squealing brakes could be heard from miles away. I gapped Torsten here opening up a lead of 2 minutes.
Those who survived the Rysianka mountain had two more climbs, both with 400 metres of ascent each. Up the next climb I took things steady, I didn’t need to make up any time so was better off playing in safe. Unfortunately I on the next descent I heard that awful sound of a puncture. A big 25 gram Lezyne CO2 gas can gave me several goes at adding air but each time the tyre deflated to about 10psi. Not so good on the rocks! Even so I carried on, banging the Mountain Trax carbon rim off of the rocks was rather frightening but what could I do!?
Torsten caught me by the bottom of the descent and Ryan caught us on the road before the last climb. Ryan opened up the throttle on the climb dispatching Torsten. Ryan and I were still together at the top of the climb where my tyre gave up. Ryan generously lent me his pump but the quad bike following had a track pump, bingo! Back up to 10psi and the chase was on.
Ryan had the advantage though taking a well earned win, I limped home in second and Torsten finished in third. What an epic day!!
Laura Turpijn from the Netherlands was first lady home, followed by Daniela Storch, and Dasa Sverakova.
Tomorrow stage 3 presents another challenging day, either 64 kilometres or 40 kilometres of mountainous terrain.