Stage 8 was also the first in the mountains. As is usual for Seb Lang, he unfortunately can’t report on what happened at the end of the stage. After all, I had my own problems in the last 30 kilometres and was well behind all the action that was taking place on the stage. Despite the long race yesterday my legs weren’t so bad and I coped fine with the first four of the six climbs in total on the stage. Our tactic for today was to get a rider into the leading group. Matthew Lloyd and Daniel Moreno were the riders we thought would be the most able to step up to the plate. However, neither of them managed to get into the breakaway group. This caused us to miss out on valuable points in the battle for the polka dot jersey but we are still extremely focused on our main aim and Jurgen Van Den Broeck is still right up there in the general classification.
It wasn’t just the route of today’s stage that gave one or two riders a hard time today but also the high temperatures. It’s on days like these that the rider needs a great deal of fluid and drinks nearly 14 bottles during a 5-hour race.
When you want to collect drinking bottles, that’s sometimes not all that easy. This is because riders from other teams also want to get to their team cars at the same time to take on water. I then simply have to be patient until my team’s Sports Director wins the war of words in the queue of cars and can take up a position behind the first neutral service vehicle. We already had guests in the team car who felt so sick during a mountain stage that they had to stop to take a break. I can tell you that the vehicles have to take a lot of stick and the Sports Director has to be a really good driver.
As you can see, it’s not only a stormy affair in the peloton itself but also the guys in our team car are pushed to their limits.
See you tomorrow, Seb