The second day of Tour of Goa started out with the local team Equipe Goa leading us out of Bambolim Beach resort towards Montego Bay!
As soon as we got out we were hit by a 700 odd meter climb at 10% gradient near Hyatt hotel. Apparently there is a Strava segment and a few were gunning for the segment. I didn’t mind using it as a mini leg opener for the CS segment later in the day.
Once we got over that climb, we got on a nice road. We formed a nice pace line with Vandit and Anand Kapoor leading the charge.
The first regroup point of the day was the ferry station. On the way I caught up with Kadesh of Equipe Goa and started chatting about the cycling scene in Goa. The regular races they have started of late have spurred quite a bit of interest in the youngsters of the region. They are seeing a fair bit of participation in a regular basis.
Formation of Equipe Goa gives the best in the region something to aspire to and an unit they can belong to. The kind of purpose and direction a team gives is phenomenal in cycling. I think it is a great sign for the sport in the region. It would be great to see more teams coming up and the sport growing more. They have such great routes to ride in.
We got to the ferry and had a nice breakfast on the ferry.
Once we got off the ferry, we started riding towards the day’s competitive segment. The steep kickers on the route leading up to the competitive segment felt like they were acting like a meat tenderisor you use in the marinate when you want to cook your meat soft. They get the legs ready so that the competitive segment does the rest of the job and cook the legs completely and well done, ready fall off the bone! Vegetarians and vegans, please excuse the juicy simile.
The day’s competitive segment was 16.5km long rolling route that was a bit technical in nature. It involved a U-turn, a 90 degree turn and quite a few winding downhills as well as quite a few gradual climbs. The road surface in the second half of the route was quite rough as well. So, it was quite different from first day’s segment which was in short and on a wide Highway.
It was quite a challenge to keep pushing the power with the downhills and technical bits as well as the rough surface at places.
I was going quite well for the first half until going over pothole hard had my saddle suddenly tilt forward nose down. I guess it was another indication that I needed to lose more weight but all I cared at the point was how fast I could get the CS done with.
It was really hard trying to push while I was constantly sliding down on the saddle. I wasn’t carrying any tools and even if I did, stopping in the middle of a competitive segment wasn’t on the cards. So, I kept trying to push as much as I can but the power steadily kept dropping.
As I was nearing the finish line, there was slight raise in the road like a lip right at the bottom of a fast downhill. I saw my teammate Vandit on the road side with someone helping him. I kept going seeing that someone was with him. But, seeing him also alerted me about the bump in the road that kicked him off balance and caused him to crash.
I slowed down and went over it and picked up speed to finish. After crossing the finish line, we went to look at Vandit and by that time another couple of guys from Equipe Goa, Sudhir and Knerav crashed at the same spot.
Vandit had a bit of road rash but his carbon bike was shattered. Knerav had fractured wrist and Sudhir got off with a bit of road rash. Crashes are integral part of cycling but maybe the segment could have avoided the rough stuff.
Murali finished the fastest on the day and is overall the first place in the combined. Vincent also moved to second overall with a strong performance on the day. I’m at third for the day as well as overall. It’ll be interesting to see if I can take back 30 odd seconds that are needed to move up in the tomorrow’s CS of 9.8km rolling terrain.
Last day should be very interesting!
You can watch the day’s video on my channel here: