Vandy’s Diary – Stage 7 PREport

I don’t know if the word “preport” exists. Well, the old red squiggly line is suggesting that it doesn’t, but we’ll run with it. Just to clarify: stage 7 has not yet begun. It’s the morning of and we have half an hour to do our final packing and get down to the bus. Our large support team here in Korea are making life on the road particularly easy. My big bags have already been collected and are getting packed into the bus as I write, and all I’m left to do is pull on the lycra, and walk myself and day bag to the bus without tripping over or forgetting anything…

But I thought I’d just quickly set the scene of today’s race. The way I see it, this GC battle we’ve got on our hands is a bit like a Grandslam game of tennis. OGE have the complete rounded game. Heaps of shot selection and no apparent weakness. Strong serve, can play from the baseline, volley and hit winners at will- a classy opponent. They took the first two sets as expected. We played well, but were being beaten by a better opponent. The momentum shifted slightly in the third set, and we managed to win the tie break against the odds (stage 4).

We don’t have the flashy, huge range of shots that our opponent has, but we have something. Our defensive lob and slice backhand (Fraser and Mitch) are keeping us in the point when we’re put on the back foot. Our big forehand (Paddy Bevin) is dialled in and hitting winners. It’s kept us in the game. The crowd is delighted, we have a real contest!

Currently, we’re sitting down drinking some electrolyte waiting for the start of the 5th set. If you know tennis, you’ll know that anything can happen in the 5th set. The players are fatigued. It could be tight, or either player could crumble to pieces. But both players have hope!

Only 10 minutes till I’m once again late. Time to put my headband on and change a t-shirt!

@neilvdp