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Inside the Tour of Britain

Our lad Martyn Irvine is riding the Tour of Britain, as we type this. This year's race has a very strong field with some of the world's finest roadmen; it's going to be race to remember...

Stage 4:
Minehead - Teignmouth 171.3km

Oh crap! That was my first reaction when I looked at the race profile for today. The stage started on a hill and a cat 1 climb to make things worst. As expected we rolled out and the whole bunch was not looking forward to what was about to happen. Kilometre zero and the race was on, 1 minute later and the bunch was in one long line with cracks starting to show. I managed to hang on in a group with about 15 guys and as we crested the climb, the decent was on and that's where a lot of todays drama happened. There was a corner that came out of nowhere, it was an of camber downhill, l left hander. I almost crashed myself but ended up using Ed Clancy for brakes! Luckily enough I bounced of him and we laughed it off. I later found out that was the same corner that split the bunch and ended a few riders races.

I almost crashed myself but ended up using Ed Clancy for brakes!

Our group rejoined the bunch and the rest of the stage was rode steady, thankfully. There was about 6 climbs that weren't in the handbook and they were steep! The terrain and the weather which was awful made even the easiest of tempo's hard enough.

After 5 hrs of riding the bike it was time to wash, clean up and we were on the road to our hotel. The usual routine of showering, team meeting and massage was done and I was of to bed in a blink, hoping for some better weather.

Adios!

Martyn has agreed to send us race reports as the action happens from inside the race. Imagine averaging 25mph over 150km and then taking photos and writing a race report! We're very grateful to Martyn for his efforts.

Watch ITV4 tonight and see if you can spot him in the green jersey of the Irish National team astride his black High Modulus Nanolight. Send support and comments using the box below.

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Day 1: Rochdale - Blackpool 132.km

Position 29th!

Woohoo!! I'm spread out here on my bed and the sun is shining! I wish it was shining a couple of hours ago. The stage this morning started in Rochdale which when we arrived there we were greeted with a pleasant enough crowd but the weather was sh*t to be honest, most of the teams were hiding in the bunch until the last minute because of this.

Andrei Greipel was sitting in front me. Let me just say I felt like a 10 year old boy when I looked at his legs, huge!

Sign on done and with 10mins to go I made my way around to the start area with the lads. It was a long 10mins with the rain and to make things worst Andrei Greipel was sitting in front me. Let me just say I felt like a 10 year old boy when I looked at his legs, huge! After a nice mental kick in the spuds we rolled out and the weather got worst.

While hammering along and trying to look out the side of my head, I could see the road go up and if you know me that’s bad news. For the guts of the next 30mins it was pretty uncomfortable and thankfully somebody called a ceasefire! The rest of the stage consisted of a lot of dangerous, wet junctions and twisty roads where you just had to keep your wits about ya but with the Sky team keeping the pace steady enough it was reasonable safe.

20k or so to go people got the racing heads on and with that the pace picked up. The bunch was motoring along and the next thing I know there was 4k to go, 3k, 2k, 1k and hey presto, job done. I just kept myself out of trouble and finished with no drama in around 30th place.

I’m off to get some food into now so I’m checkin out and fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Stage 2: Stoke on Trent - Stoke on Trent 160.5KM

Yet again I'm in my room chilling out. I've just had a massage and I'm of to dinner in about 30mins.

Today's stage was 160k with 3 categorised climbs not to mention another 3 climbs that was not mentioned in the handbook!

Pretty much from the gun the break went and I later found out that all the big teams were in it. The reason for this from my point of view was that it was so dam fast. I'm not kidding we must have covered close to 50k in the first hour but done quote on that one, it hurt!
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When it was obvious that the break was gone numerous other teams were setting the pace and that was the story for most of the day. 160k with a steady pace and hard roads took it's toll on me but I managed to stay in the bunch even over the climbs.

The fact that the break was well up the road took the sting out of the chase and that was pretty much my saving grace on the bumpy roads. Along the way though there was some serious cross winds which seen some people lost contact but I manage to avoid getting caught out.Â

As the miles ticked down I just kept eating and drinking and it really helped my through the day, no sign of cramp or feeling weak (any more the usual!) If the rest of the week goes like today I will be a happy cyclist.

Like I said at the start, dinner is soon so I'm off!

Stage 3: Newton - Swansea 149.7KM

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I woke up this morning thinking the weather couldn't be any worse than yesterday, how wrong was I!


After a bit of a rush to the stage caused by underestimating the transfer we signed on and were sitting at the start line ready to go.

As per yesterday the start was rapid! I think it was close to 30miles covered in the first hour! I must say I did have a go in that first hour, Although it was so fast not much was getting any time. After that I went into survival mode as I knew what was coming up, pain.

There was a climb not long after 40k to go and that's where the s*#t hit the fan. There was groups of riders all over the climb and I was climbing as well as ever, not well!! I haven't got a clue where I finished but I finished in a group of about 10 riders and was just delighted to see the finish line.

Race over it was in the van and on the road as quick as possible, we were Bristol bound and that exactly where I'm typing this. Massage done, Im just watching the clock and looking forward to dinner.

Fingers crossed tomorrow is a bit dryer but hey, it is what it is!

Wish me luck.

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Stage 4:
Minehead - Teignmouth 171.3km

Oh crap! That was my first reaction when I looked at the race profile for today. The stage started on a hill and a cat 1 climb to make things worst.

As expected we rolled out and the whole bunch was not looking forward to what was about to happen. Kilometre zero and the race was on, 1 minute later and the bunch was in one long line with cracks starting to show. I managed to hang on in a group with about 15 guys and as we crested the climb, the decent was on and that's where a lot of todays drama happened. There was a corner that came out of nowhere, it was an of camber downhill, l left hander. I almost crashed myself but ended up using Ed Clancy for brakes! Luckily enough I bounced of him and we laughed it off. I later found out that was the same corner that split the bunch and ended a few riders races.

I almost crashed myself but ended up using Ed Clancy for brakes!


Our group rejoined the bunch and the rest of the stage was rode steady, thankfully. There was about 6 climbs that weren't in the handbook and they were steep! The terrain and the weather which was awful made even the easiest of tempo's hard enough.

After 5 hrs of riding the bike it was time to wash, clean up and we were on the road to our hotel. The usual routine of showering, team meeting and massage was done and I was of to bed in a blink, hoping for some better weather.

Adios!

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Stage 5:

King's Lynn - Great Yarmouth 190km


Or should I say no stage 5! At about 4am I woke up and felt awful!! For the next few hours I was a frequent visitor to the loo. Lets just say by the time we were leaving for the stage I was looking for the toilet with the softest loo roll:)


At the stage start I was determined to make an effort to start. My manager called the race doc to have a look at me and after he had a look at me he told me not to start. I suggested that I try and he said I would be mad. As much as it pained me I followed my orders and didn't sign on. It was probably the best thing I did! I spent the rest of the day lying flat on back and making some involuntary trips to the loo.

As much as it pained me I followed my orders and didn't sign on. It was probably the best thing I did! I spent the rest of the day lying flat on back and making some involuntary trips to the loo.

As I type this I feel a bit better but my race is over for 2010. I'll keep telling myself that it happened for a reason and try to get fit and healthy as quick as possible. Now I'm looking forward to the commonwealth games and a track season so wish me luck.

Imagine yourself in this situation, well try not to picture it. Please send Martyn some support using the comments below.

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13 September 2010

Comments

  • Colin Wilson

    Well done Martyn on doing so well. Remember that it was illness that took you out of the race and not your ability. You are a star. Colin Wilson Bikeworks

  • Terence Jones

    Well done Martyn. Well done on a fantastic effort and hopefully next year you'll do better.

  • Simon Melton

    Unlucky Martyn, always next year. We wish you a speedy recovery. Regards Simon Melton Selby Cycling Club