After all the wedding shenanigans It’s finally time for a report on this year’s Tour of Portugal, so here goes….
A slight change of format for this year’s Tour with no prologue on the Friday, instead we were straight into a long day with two special stages. The terrain was good and fast flowing with some very tricky navigation at times and whilst I didn’t get lost I did have a couple of occasions when I started to doubt I was on the right route and doubled back to check, only to discover I was on the correct track. Indeed on each occasion, had I continued only a few hundred metres I would have reached a distinctive junction that would have confirmed I had taken the right track? I product of a year without any road book practice I guess.
A long day ended fairly uneventfully with the one problem being the side stand pivot bolt coming loose, luckily I spotted it at a fuel stop and it was easily resolved.
As noted the second special stage was pretty much the same as the first and I arrived back in Pampilhosa da Sera after 230km, after finishing at the hotel, I did a quick run down the hill to the petrol station to refuel and use the jet wash, the bike wasn’t particularly dirty but it does make maintenance that much easier.
I ended the day in 18th place, not exactly ideal but still in the top third of the field I guess.
Apart from the aforementioned side stand issue the bike ran faultlessly and needed very little maintenance that evening apart from a top up of oil which is a regular feature of running an eleven year old bike I guess and a clean air filter, which wasn’t strictly necessary but because I could, a check of the brake pads (all OK) and some oil on the chain and I was done.