Tour of Montenegro - Day 3 - Josh Parkin reporting:
The day started early, with the team being up and ready to leave by 7:30am on the dot! The race traveled in convoy from from the race hotel in Kotor to Podgorica, a 3 hour commute over the mountain. As temperatures began to rise throughout the morning, the team were thankful for the many water bottles, thanks to Clive Emson Land & Property Auctioneers.
During the journey, one of the elite teams vans broke down. Without enough space in the car for the whole team and staff, let alone equipment, they decided not to start the day. At this point the convoy began to disband, with teams finding their own way to race. Having to reply on others to transport the team, we managed to get lost on route, arriving only 40 minutes before the start.
The team began to change, prepare bottles, gels and numbers for the race and build the bikes back up. After signing on, the team rolled out for the ceremonial start at 11:30am.
The evening before, the organiser proposed shortening the circuit from 16 laps of 4.4km to 10, followed by 40 km of climbing. This was due to the heat and the difficulty of the race the day before.
The race came to a halt at the official start, while the circuit was confirmed as being clear. After waiting for approximately 10 minutes, the race was underway. It went hard from the gun, with one rider attacking straight away. Within two laps, a group of 4 had formed with an advantage of 10 seconds. Ollie Morgan managed to get across to the group within a lap with one other rider to make a group of 6. They worked well as a unit with Ollie pulling some big turns to help increase the gap. At its peak, the break had a 45 second gap. As the main bunch contained riders who had missed the break, the gap begun to come down. Within 5 laps the break had been caught. A lone rider then countered and time trialed off the front of the group.
The riders then headed off the circuit and towards the mountain. From the bottom of the mountain 30km of climbing awaited them. The lone rider was soon caught and Ollie was first to attack. This decimated the bunch, breaking it into small groups of riders. A small group of 7 then formed at the front.
Riders were soon spread across the mountain, with Matty Dobbing in a group of 3 chasing Ollie’s and David's group of 7.
Riders began to blow all the way up the climb in what was a war of attrition. Those who paced themselves were successful, with the team all fitting into that category. All riders managed to pick others off, catching them as the race continued to climb.
Ollie’s groups depleted and Matty soon caught up and passes the riders, in pursuit of the win. David was still chasing behind and working well to maintain a rhythm within his group.
Matty pushed over the climb to finish third, a clear display of his climbing ability within the team in what was an impressive performance.
Ollie came over the top with a small group of riders, sprinting to the line. A touch of wheels/switching of other riders caused Ollie to crash and hit the deck, resulting in road rash, twisted bars and a twisted saddle. Ollie soon got back on his feet, running to the finish in what was another impressive ride given the series of very unfortunate events that he had been involved in over the course of the week. Ollie even received compliments from the organisation on his performance over the three days. Ollie was well patched up at the finish and also attracted some attention from the locals.
David came up and over the climb to win the sprint to the line ahead of some of the riders from his group. Another great performance.
Both Josh and Cam finished together in very respectable places given their dedication to doing well as a team. Both riders were an asset to the team in this Tour, so this should not be dismissed. They should both be very proud of their achievements, especially given Cam has been injured and Josh has been unable to ride for the majority of the year due to an operation.
Matty Dobbing 3rd
Ollie Morgan 7th
David Reece 8th
Cameron Foster 14th
Josh Copley 15th
A strong performance on the final day brings to a close what has been a very eventful but enjoyable three days for the team. Thank you to the organisers and all involved to make the event happen. We hope to be invited back next year!
Thanks to Team Giant-RBS for the support over the last three days!
Thanks to our sponsors
Stuart Hall Cycling. https://stuarthallcycling.co.uk/
Gett Taxi Uk. https://gett.com/uk/
TBW The Bike Warehouse www.thebikewarehouse.net
Le Col https://lecol.cc/?
Clive Emson https://www.cliveemson.co.uk/
Lake shoes http://www.lakecycling.com/
Andrew Hillman https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-hillman-48533463?
Wigmore Cycling Club http://www.bc-clubs.co.uk/wigmorecc/