Elevation gain: 3162m
Racing was stopped at check point three today as one of the strongest riders of the event had a serious fall. Lindsey Haak, from Belgium, was sitting in ninth position overall and was comfortably on her way to a top ten finish. The latest news is that she has no broken bones and the only concern for her health is short term memory loss, otherwise she just has lots of cuts and bruises. She is one of the nicest people at this event and we wish her a speedy recovery.
At the time Lindsey was leading the stage as she had left earlier then the main field due to the handicap system. By the time the main pack arrived (not too long after her fall) everything was dealt with swiftly so that the organisers were notified and medical attention would arrive quickly – the safety briefing at the beginning of the event paid off.
In terms of racing, riders were timed until check point two and times posted accordingly. oday would have been a tough stage as the rain has set in making the trails very sticky and small rivers have swelled making each crossing very challenging.
We are now in the Algarve and the vegetation is completely different to the last few days. With thick forest and red sand, stage 9 might take a bit longer than initially anticipated. Stage nine is considered to be one of the most stunning stages but given that rain is forecast it’s unlikely to offer the views it would otherwise.
One thing is for sure – I will be taking a dive in the Atlantic Ocean when I arrive in Sagres!
1st: Greg Anderson (RSA)
2nd: Marco Almeida (CZE)
3rd: Luis Leao Pinto (POR)