A12,388FT MOUNT FUJI IS THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN JAPAN, IT IS PART OF A THREE MOUNTAIN RANGE CALL THE "THREE HOLY MOUNTAINS" ON A CLEAR DAY CAN BE SEEN WEST FROM TOKYO.
Mount Fuji was the playground for the Rapha Condor Sharp team as the peloton tackled its tough ascent for stage 5 of the Tour of Japan.
For the sprinters Deano, The Duke and Briggsy the stage was about surviving and making the cut. As for National Champ Kristian House and Darren Lampthorne they wanted to maintain their position on GC.
Team asisstant Paul Rowlands picks up the story as the car driven by Team DS, John Herety catches up with the riders who are away.
"On we accelerated and before we hit 5km to go we caught sight of Darren ahead of us fighting hard to limit his losses on what was clearly not going to be his best ever day on a bike, speaking after the finish Darren explained what had happened out on the mountain after we’d initially heard his number mentioned amongst the leaders on race radio:
“I just pushed myself a little too hard to stay with the leaders and then the light went out about half way up and I could never recover properly, I just couldn’t stay with them in the end."
It’s a sobering sight to see a rider give their all from the vantage point of the team car on a climb like today’s. Nothing you can do to assist, no words you can say that will lessen the pain, you just drive and hope, willing them forward, hoping they won’t crack. The ride by Darren today showed why he’s such a good rider and why he’s worthy to lead the Rapha Condor Sharp team. Many riders sit up when they realise it’s not their day, Darren used every muscle in his body to grind out a result today, justifying the work done by his team mates over the last week and representing the Rapha Condor Sharp jersey with honour."
With another hard, hilly day tomorrow and a fast and furious stage around Tokyo to wrap up, there’s something for everyone in this team before the end of the race.