In his own words: Martin Barras wraps up Energiewacht TourSun 12 Apr 2015
It could have been a holiday.
Today's final stage of the 2015 Energiewacht Tour saw us transfer from mainland Holland to the German Island of Borkum. Borkum is now a tourist destination for day-trippers and bird watchers alike but has a background as a whaling and pirate station. As it stands in the North Sea it is subjected to strong and sometimes violent winds and storms and over time this sand formation has been anything from one to three separate islands, depending on the capricious nature of the weather.
Today was no different. After a 5am start we transferred riders and equipment by ferry to the Island, to find it battered in strong southwesterly wind. The course was mostly made of pavers covered roads that barely fitted a car. This had all the makings of another slam fest and no one was left disappointed!
We lost Loes as the day started: she suffered from Gastro overnight and was headed home as we left. As we crossed the Wadden Sea the waves and spray made it clear the conditions were ripe for a race that would go from the gun.
And it did. Once the flag was dropped it was 60kmph to the first left hand turn 3km down the road, where the bunch would move from the main road to the first goat path. As expected a first selection was made then and there and a group of 15 rode away. Thanks to some good work from Mel Hoskins, Lizzie Wlliams was able to make this selection but as soon as the direction changed and the tailwind became a head crosswind, she was blown off the back with a small number of riders.
The bunch spent 35km chasing, until the chase died down and those first escapees contested the win after 106km of racing. Anna Van Der Breggen (Rabo Liv) won her second stage (after the prologue) and Lisa Brennauer (Velociosport SRAM) hung on to the overall lead she gained yesterday.
For us it was a difficult tour: we fulfilled our expectations in the two time trials but fell short of the mark in the road stages.
The girls get a short five-day break in Italy before returning to Holland and Belgium for the next two weeks.