Inside Tyre Story

By Bardy the Action Scribe

Amazing story about the Vredestein tyre issue!

Approximately 40km into the race, Jakob Fuglsang of Cannondale Vredestein
had a flat tyre. Another stroke of bad luck followed when his quick fill
cartridge didn't work properly. Using a second cartridge did not help either
as a malfunctioning adaptor was the problem. With only one cartridge left,
the team was rescued when Rune Hoydahl of Etto Hoydahl 2 gave them an
adaptor, which finally allowed the team to fill Fuglsang's tube. Devastating
the team still more, the new tube was defective, too, and had to be
exchanged once more before they could continue. By then, Cannondale
Vredestein had lost almost six minutes, and therefore had to work hard to
catch up with the group. As they made their way to the front, they passed
Hoydahl and returned his adaptor in case he had a flat tyre and needed it.

Cannondale Vredestein's misfortune did not end there. 18km prior to the
finish line, Fuglsang had another flat and they had nothing to repair it
with. "We didn't know what to do, as we had no cartridges left and gave the
adaptor back to Rune. We then decided, 'why not just ride in on the rim
without the tube?' which we did. Roel was feeling stronger today so he
suggested that we exchange wheels."

In the process of taking the rear wheel out of Fuglsang's bike, the team
lost his brake pads. Fuglsang therefore had to ride without any rear brakes,
with more than 18km to go (including 5km of singlerack). Fuglsang pushed his
partner in off-road sections and pulled him on the tarred road.

Paulissen says that riding on the rim was killing his legs. "It was like
riding on a drilling machine, and I can still feel the effects of this
afterwards. We didn't have a clue how far we were behind - our gut feeling
told us it must've been more than 18 minutes, and we were sure that we would
no longer be overall leaders. But we kept going, which was definitely the
right decision. We were thrilled when we reached the finish line only to
find that we had lost a mere eight minutes."

He added that all he can do to recover from the additional pressure that his
legs had to endure during stage five was to eat properly, "but that gets
more difficult after each stage, because you are too tired to eat."