It’s almost over. The Arabian Odyssey is to come to an end. One of the single most intense experiences of my life is about to be abruptly interrupted by a 3am wake up call and a drive to Muscat airport for a 5.55am flight to Doha. Then onto Sri Lanka for a stopover, on the way to Malaysia for the ten-day Tour de Langkawi.
It’s non-stop, this pro cycling thingy…
Let’s get the last two days over and out of the way before I start pontificating and meandering, shall we? Because I feel like I could write all night. The adrenalin, the buzz, the noise, the speed, the aches and the pains, the wide-eyed fear, the beauty and the Heineken, they’re all surrounding and invading and escaping in no particular order and only Eddy knows when in the heck I’m gonna calm down from all this.
Stage 5, up to Green Mountain, one of the most intensely boring bike rides I have ever experienced – except for the last 17km. A small break got away almost from the gun and from there until that fateful 17km to go point we minced it up the mountain like a collective giant sloth. Had you been listening carefully you might have heard our outrageously long nails scraping over the Omani asphalt. Jeez it was painful. My butt ached, my back ached, it all ached.
Usually we go so fast that the aches aren’t even worth noticing. Not that day.
4 hours 48 minutes for 160km, average 33.2km/hr. Not slow at all for a club run, especially considering it was uphill all day, but this wasn’t a club run. And then the maelstrom hit. The calm shattered. The beast appeared and, adorned in a headband and a Guns Roses tank-top, it was quite obvious that it was ready to rock, and rock hard.
Katusha (Rodriguez), Liquigas-Cannondale (Nibali) and Radioshack-Nissan-Trek (Velits) powered the peloton out from a roundabout that took us onto the road before
To read the whole story, visit here: http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/02/news/road/lee-rodgers-oman-diary-the-end-of-desert-nights_206938