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Finding form amidst chaos - Charles Planet of Team Novo Nordisk

Atlanta based Pro-continental squad Team Novo Nordisk have been animating races throughout the season with their typically aggressive racing and have set their sights firmly on more of the same during the squad’s second outing at the Aviva Tour of Britain. Hard-charging Charles Planet from the squad is providing Always Riding with daily reports from the road, and, as the race nears its finale in London, Charles looks back on peloton frustrations, slippery roads and finding form in the midst of chaos.

Fri 11th Sept- St6, 192.7km; Stoke-on-Trent – Nottingham

It's been a long hard race so far - lengthy stages, heavy roads, long transfers and end of season fatigue are all taking their toll on the peloton. A stage defining incident meant the race was shaped early, sending those with a chase in their legs up the road and, with thoughts of yet another 4 hour drive post-stage, a truce of sorts was called within the pack..

“Today started exactly to plan. Our aim was to get David into the front group so that he could continue racing for GC. He made the front group and then Cavendish crashed. That crashed changed the whole day. That is why 30 riders were out front. Right after the crash, the front group sped up. Most teams were lucky to have at least one guy up there, but David got blocked. I was right behind David. That was it for us and it made for a very long day in the grupetto. Now we only have two more chances.”

Image credits - AP Sports Photography

The longest transfer of the race followed what many considered to be the toughest stage. The peloton had limped in at club run pace some 45 minutes after the stage had been decided as team soigneurs and mechanics impatiently tapped fingers and paced around the waiting buses, eager to get bikes stowed on top of cars and riders onboard for the long drive- it was looking like a very late night ahead with dinner and massages at least 3 hours away. Word on the street was that rain was forecast for Saturday's penultimate stage. That the stage was also the longest of the race did little to lighten the tension amongst staff..

Sat 12th Sept- St7, 227.1km; Fakenham – Ipswich

Image credits - AP Sports Photography

"When we got into Norwich, there were lots of crashes. The roads were so slippery and the peloton split due to the rain. That’s when the three-man break went. We missed it because of the crash. I wanted to be there, but today I’m not as frustrated. I know I tried so hard and I’m happy none of us crashed today.”

"One more day left but I do feel like I lost a good opportunity today. I felt really good all day, even in the final. Our sprinter (Andrea Peron) got a flat in the last part of the race. Javi (Megias) gave him a wheel and I tried to help him make it back to the front in the last 20 km. It was so fast on those really small roads. The flat meant that Andrea lost a lot of energy fighting to get back. He finished around 20th, so I think without the flat, he could have had a really good result today.”

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About the Rider: Tim
Tim Bladon lives in Nottingham. He strongly suspects his chances of a solo victory in Il Lombardia are starting to fade and so seeks to distract people from this fact by writing about cycling instead. Tim has his own blog, Ciclissimo!
@LanterneBeB
https://eurissimo.wordpress.com
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