The final two stages of the Coupe des Nations de l’Espoir Blue Line (“Tour de l’Espoir”) were a 102km out-and-back from Yaounde, followed by the final day’s 80km over many of the same relentlessly hilly roads.
With fewer laps of the Yaounde finishing circuit than the riders had enjoyed on stage 3, the final stage should have been the more straightforward of the two…
What a crazy day it was. It was going to be hard day because of how the laps looked but it started out good for us. We were represented in all the moves and I went with all the important guys in a few moves but nothing stuck.
The first hour of racing was really intense and I forgot to eat. That made it even harder – I was feeling good for the first two laps and then it just hit me and I had no energy.
Just tried my best to finish the race to have another chance the next day…
South African teammate Aidan van Niekerk shows just how hard the stage was:
And just in case you had any doubts on how hard the day was, take a look (60kg, 2,5 hrs). Don’t want to be that guy who posts his power, but I have a strong suspicion there will be more flak coming our way. Without the Kents and Stefans, we are doing what we can. 💁🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/RNQzah4VgU
— Aidan van Niekerk (@aidanvn) February 3, 2018
Not the way I wanted to end the tour but glad I finished.
I was feeling really drained from the start but tried to push through and help the team as best I could. Everyone was going in moves but no one was let off the front. Finally I went in a move and drove the break up to about 2 minutes [advantage] and then the worst happened. I felt like I had to stop next to the road because I just couldn’t keep it in anymore…
Well atleast I know what was going on yesterday and today .. had to stop next to the road for a nr.2 , I shit you not 😅🙈 atleast it was the last day .
— _louis._.visser (@louisvissie73) February 4, 2018
I rode back to the bunch but as soon as we started the laps there was just nothing left in the tank. It was a great tour, we had some ups and downs but overall we did our best and it is what it is.
Louis’s Dimension Data team-mate Joseph Areruya (Rwanda) took the general classification, adding to his recent Amissa Bongo and Tour of Rwanda victories.
Coupe des Nations
The Nations Cup returns to Europe and resumes at Kattekoers-Ieper (Gent Wevelgem) on 25 March 2018. The Espoirs World entourage has booked its ferry crossing and will be at the roadside in Ieper.
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