Stage 3 of the Club La Santa 4 day stage race means just one thing... A 21km Hill climb Time Trial!

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"I knew from last year there is nowhere to hide on the 20km Hill Time Trial, climbing from sea level up to 1500 feet the course is mainly open gravel roads, but a few sections of single track and tricky descents force concentration. As I was 28th overall I started with a lot of the fast boys, including Ant White, 1 minute behind me.

I didn’t get the best start, legs were feeling drained from yesterdays chase efforts so the first 10 minutes I was pushing hard but putting no ground into my 30 second man. I knew from last year the bottom half suited Ant and soon saw him bobbing along catching his 30 second man. I held him off for 8km but he passed in the end.

[caption id="attachment_9053" align="aligncenter" width="470"]Photo: James Mitchell Photography Photo: James Mitchell Photography[/caption]

The second 10km featured a few downs then a long gravel flat section to cover quickly whilst recovering for the last drag upto the observatory. I turned onto this section knowing it suited my strengths and pushed hard to try and reel Ant in, whilst getting passed buy a few drafting spanish, christ those boys can climb! The last few km seem to drag on and on but eventually the end was visible, until you traverse back down, around the back and back up again! I was spent, it felt much harder than last year! 35th Overall - 16th Elite (26th GC Overall - 14th GC Elite)

Afterwards we followed the Club Lasanta rep down one of the best single track descents I’ve ridden, scary, but epic! tomorrow is the biggy, 95km! Time to toughen up."

Words - Chris Noble

Picture - James Mitchell