.I was looking forward to the "Dawn Raid" stage. The race started at 5.15am which is the normal time I'm on the bike in the morning anyway. Once the lead car pulled off the race was on. Shaun once again made a charge to the front but it was all about getting traction up the muddy climbs and picking the cleanest line. Following Dylan down the first decent I noticed him jump over a 10cm high plant. I just pulled up the front wheel to coast over it however the plant reached up and wrapped around my cassette and rear derailleur. What felt like ages later I was back to 6th position as I tried to find a gear that would now work with bent gears. After lap 1 of 2 I was just over a minute down. The second lap involved running the climbs as I battled the mud. After the final lap I was just over 2 minutes down as the boys off the front worked to fight the massive head winds over the dam.
Loosing 2 minutes put me 7 seconds down on GC.