Health Net Tour of Taiwan Report Stage 4
Stage 4 brings an alliance of necessity, at
least for one day.
Doug Ollerenshaw, Garrett Peltonen, Roman Kilun, Jeff Louder, Kirk O'Bee,
soigneur Kim Budde and assistant DS Gustavo Carrillo, are currently racing the
7-day Tour of Taiwan. Doug O is sending dispatches from the other side of the
Stage 4, Taitung to Liyu Lake Road Race.
Today was another long road stage at 155km. The first 100km of the stage was
identical to yesterday before we turned inland toward Lake Liyu. Almost
immediately after the end of the neutral section there was an attack by a Team
Okinawa rider, followed by a Dutch rider. With no response from the field, the
two began to build a large gap almost immediately. We got word a short time
later that the Dutch rider had dropped the Okinawa rider, so even with the gap
approaching 7 minutes, there was little reason for alarm. It is very unlikely
that a rider can survive a 155km race on his own.
Back in the field, The Drapac/Porsche team had only two riders to protect the
race leader, Rob McLachlan. They used one of their riders from the start to set
tempo on the front and prevent any further attacks from going up the road. He
had his work cut out for him containing countless attacks from the Asian riders.
At kilometer 80, with the gap to the lone leader still in the 6-minute range,
I took off solo in an attempt to put some additional pressure on the
Australians. Unfortunately, I was joined very shortly thereafter by 12 more
riders, none of them being Health Net Maxxis riders, and many of them being much
better placed on GC than myself.
Roman followed a group of 6 riders bridging across a few minutes later, but
that still left us in a very precarious position. Of the 18 riders up front, the
Japanese National Team had managed to place all 5 of their riders, with a couple
of them already being in the top 10 on GC. It didn't take them long to realize
their advantage and start driving the group.
Doug Ollerenshaw Sea Otter 2005
Knowing that the Porsche team did not have enough riders to pull back the
break, and with Roman and I both too far back on GC to be able take advantage of
being in the break, the rest of the team had no choice but to join the chase
back in the field. Luckily, the Japanese riders began faltering on the front,
and eventually one of their riders who was not well placed on GC ended up
attacking the break and being joined by another Asian rider. With the pressure
off in the break, it didn't take long for the field to catch back up. The
situation changed little on the approach to the line. The two breakaway riders
stayed away by about a minute with the Japanese National Team rider taking the
win. That left the GC order unchanged and leaves us with 3 more stages to
attempt to wrest control of this race.
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