“Honestly, these first two days of the Tour de France have been complicated. I am 36 years old, and I am necessarily a little more diesel than the others. Saturday for the Grand Départ, things weren’t going well at all. Yesterday (Sunday) was better, although I had cramps before the Jaizkibel. This morning at the start, I already felt a little tired. It’s rare. The team had two difficult days. As road captain, I thought it was my role to show the jersey.
So, at the start, I was careful to be in front of the fictional one. As soon as Powless attacked, I took his wheel. I suspected there wasn’t going to be a big fight, but I would have liked us to be a little more… We got on well. He had a smile, me too, it was nice. From the start, things were clear. I left the mountain points to him, he left me the intermediate sprint. It was at the foot of the last climb that he told me he was going to get up. At that time, I told myself that I had to eat well, because the sequel was going to be long!
When you are alone, you have to manage your effort. We set small goals. Another 60 kilometres, 50, etc. We didn’t see it on TV, but there was an unfavorable wind. It was important to keep an aerodynamic position. There, I have a little pain in the back.
On stages like that, we know anyway that the script is written. But the Tour is respectable. I’ve missed it for years, so I’m taking it as if it were the first. And this audience, this sounding board every time you cross town, you only find that on the Tour. Not everyone can experience such a walkabout. I will remember it for a long time.
The phone call from my wife, I only heard the second part. There were a lot of people. But of the people who tell you “Hold on, I love you”, there aren’t 50 of them. When the peloton came back, I held on. I had already done enough kilometers on my own. In fact, 99% of the peloton recovered, except me! Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will rest. Well, manner of speaking. »
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