Another awesome week in the Ethiopian mountains! After much needed rest (and a few beers) in Gondar, I was ready to hit the climbs hard again. And hit them hard I did! I got my first stage win on a 117km day leaving Gondar. The day started with a fast descent from the hotel, followed by some rolling hills and a good climb just before lunch. After a very quick lunch I set out solo for the remaining 57km a one big climb to the finish line. Just the right combination of Queen, Metallica, Paul van Dijk, lactic acid and Ethiopian switchbacks got me up to the finish line fast enough to claim my first stage win! Check out the race results for stage 23 on the TDA website.
The next day we cycled into the town of Bahadar for another rest day, and a big party! Bahadar lies on the shore of the third largest lake in Africa, Laka Tana. On the rest day (after a serious breakfast) we did a boat trip on lake Tana and checked out some of the monastries on the islands.
From Bahadar it has been five amazing days of cycling through Ethiopian mountains to reach Addis Ababa, where we are now enjoying a rest day. This strech included the spectacular Blue Nile Gorge and the highest point on the entire tour (around 3300m). The second time trial of the trip was over the 20km climb from the bridge over the Blue Nile, over 1300m up to the top of the Gorge. This was a hardcore climb and a very exciting time trial (I did it in 1:46, coming in 5th for the TT and 2nd for the stage.) Unfortunately, after too many days of going too hard, it all cathes up and all sorts of problems set in simultaneously. Diahorrea, flu, saddle sores, headaches all came to crash my party over the last few days. I’m recovering well though, and after this rest day and possibly a couple days in survival mode, I’ll be able to stop being sick and be awesome instead, once again!
Tommorrow we head south from Addis Ababa, and look forward to a few more days in the mountains before reaching Kenya. Lots of photos coming in Kenya, internet connections in Ethiopia suck! Check the TDA website for some pics for now, and the blog post about my stage win. Thanks for all the comments and emails, cheers.