I didn’t in fact want to be in a breakaway on stage 7. I just jumped along with a few others and realised that we were away. There are days and races where you have to fight like hell to get yourself into a breakaway and others like today, where you just find yourself in one.
Above all, today’s stage was the longest of this year’s Tour and it was a constant up and down. Altogether I rode 216 kms ahead of the field. At the beginning with two riders for company and on the last climb two Frenchmen attacked out of the field and caught up with us. However, that only lasted a few kilometres until we were swallowed up by the main field. I even realised after 5 kilometres out in front that the three of us couldn’t do enough to win the stage.
A good question now would be: “How can you motivate yourself when it’s obvious that such a small breakaway has no real chance of making it to the finish?”
Your brain keeps telling you that you haven’t got a hope. But because you love the sport so much, you’re pleased that millions of people are going to watch your attack. My wife, my son, parents and many others. These are the small things that motivate you at times like this. In addition, on this stage I was able to scoop two hot spot sprints and was second on another one. This all mounts up to a little bit of prize money for us all at the end and although you only get just a few euros for your trouble, there’s always a bit of cash to be earned.
Physically, I’m really beat and hope that I can now get a really good night’s sleep so I’m significantly fresher than I am now. Tomorrow we have the first stage in the mountains ahead of us.
See you tomorrow, Seb.