7 days to go, 12 climbs of the 1st and 2nd categories, and uncountable metres of elevation

It’s like counting backwards, only it takes a good deal longer and is much more painful. After today’s first stage in the Pyrenees there are three more ahead of us. Therefore I’m now counting backwards and cancelling every one of the next three days out of my memory. At the mountain top finish in AX-3-Domaines Jurgen VDB demonstrated once again how strong he is at the moment. We, just like him, hope that he doesn’t crack during the next few stages and can therefore continue to fight for a superb overall finish in the general classification.

We all started the Tour de France together with a major aim, namely to achieve a position in the top 10 with our team captain. Every kilometre in the wind, every climb, every bottle, every energy gel, basically everything we’ve done so far has brought us such a long way. The big difference to last year also is that we now work together much better as a team. This is exactly what motivates us domestiques to suffer and enables us to ride at the absolute limit. Call it pleasure or fun, but seriously, it’s simply the case that tasks like these do give you a great deal of pleasure at the end because all the hard work you have put in is rewarded with a pat on the back or a big thank you from the team management.

Right ok, so off we go into the next stage after a good dinner and a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow I’ll report about the work of our cooks and why it’s necessary that we have them and how much difference they can make.

See you tomorrow, Seb

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