Apparently everyone was so relaxed after the rest day that it was a real cavalry charge. After a little more than two hours racing we had already clocked up 105 kilometres and an average rate of watts of around 310! Not until the senseless cavalry charge was over were 10 riders able to break away. I also tried to get away again and again, but couldn’t quite manage it and it was probably better that I didn’t either. I just wouldn’t have had the legs to stay up there at the front today.
Despite all that there was one positive thing that came out of today’s stage – it was over more quickly. However on Wednesday and Thursday we have two very long days ahead of us. Now I’m counting down the days until I reach Sunday, and I’ll finally know that I’ve completed my seventh Tour de France.
Before the race we still had plenty to laugh about. Firstly, Philippe Gilbert completed the final kilometre to the start on the bus. As on every other day, the press was standing in front of the bus and wanted to do an interview with the Belgian champion as well as with Jelle Vanendert, who is currently leading the king of the mountains competition. Marcel Sieberg then slipped on Philippe Gilbert’s jersey for a laugh especially for the press and we were rolling round laughing on the floor of the bus. After that André Greipel pulled on the polka dot jersey and went outside and we just couldn’t control our laughter. So as you can all see, even when we have to endure such mega pain on a daily basis, the general mood in the team is good.
See you tomorrow in Italy