Keeping my options open for today's time trial
TOUR DIARY: After a really tough weekend a head cold has not helped matters but there is a long way to go in this Tour, writes DANIEL MARTIN
WELL, THAT’S the first week of the Tour done; we’ve got nine days of racing done, 1,575 kilometres covered, and just today’s time trial before the first rest day. It’s been a somewhat frustrating weekend, but I’m hoping better things are ahead.
Saturday: I didn’t mention it before now but I’ve been suffering with a head cold for the past two or three days. I was downplaying it until now, I wanted to stay positive about things and act like it wasn’t there . . . mind over matter! Obviously it’s not good to get sick during the Tour. However, while I was feeling a bit better today, my sinuses are still really blocked.
On Saturday morning my legs felt really good and so we decided to give it a go. The stage to La Planche des Belles Filles was the first big summit finish of the race and looked like a good climb for me, being relatively short and quite steep. The team also wanted to do something positive after the disaster we had on Friday, when most of the guys crashed.
With Tom Danielson out, then Ryder Hesjedal and Robbie Hunter also calling it quits, we only started with six guys. Two of them are really badly walking wounded, with two others being pretty banged up as well.
But we wanted to come out fighting and prove to everybody that we are still here to race.
The guys went to the front and rode hard for me towards the end of the stage, trying to keep me towards the front and out of trouble. It was really good to have them do that and show confidence in me, but unfortunately things didn’t quite go to plan.
I’m still learning and I think I made two errors. Going onto the final climb you want as little weight as possible as it slows you down uphill.
Because of that, I threw my bottle away. However I did it too early and I could definitely have done with another drink. I was also sitting too far forward in the peloton – the guys were riding, but I was just behind them and taking too much wind. It was really hard work staying there, and the guys further back had a much easier ride.
By the time we hit the climb I felt that effort in my legs and didn’t have it when the pace ramped up. I ended up 17th on the stage but if I had been healthy and done things right, I should have been much closer to the win.