Dan Martin Diary – Stage 10: Back in the saddle and ready for the race of truth
Despite the crosswind and late crash , the first day back racing after my stage win swas pretty relaxing
A hairdresser combs a customer’s hair in a hairdressing salon as the peleton makes its way through the tenth stage of the centenary Tour de France from Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters
With the rest day on Monday, yesterday was the first day of racing since I won the stage at the weekend. It was a chance to talk to a lot of people and get some congratulations from them, which was nice. I enjoyed the moment. I also got presented with a plaque by Eurosport, a cutout of the profile from Sunday. That was pretty cool.
It was a relatively relaxing day, actually. It is incredible how everybody seems to have chilled out since the last crosswind day. Since the mountains, everybody has been put in their place and the race has settled down. Perhaps people were a bit sleepy as well after the rest day!
That said, it wasn’t a particularly easy stage as we had a headwind/crosswind all day. It wasn’t that hard, it was just annoying. There was that nagging wind every time we came out of a small village and the roads opened up, and this would cause the bunch to line right out.
Obviously it got a bit hectic towards the finale of the stage. Everybody knew it was going to be crosswind when it went along the beach, it was a dangerous moment. My team-mate David Millar rode on the front for me for 14 kms, riding really strongly into the wind and shielding me from it.
He was incredible, really strong. It’s better to be there as anything can happen in the back. If a crash happens with 15 or 20 kms to the finish line, it could block the road and you could lose a lot of time. So while it was more difficult in terms of effort to be riding at the front on his wheel, it was stress free. I didn’t have to fight for position, I didn’t have any danger at all.
Generally the team is working really well at the moment. The atmosphere is great now, we are all having a lot of fun. The pressure is completely gone after I got the stage win and I think we are just going to enjoy racing our bikes. It makes a difference.
Bit of a scuffle
There was a big crash at the end of the stage with the Tom Veelers and Mark Cavendish tangling. Veelers got brought down in the clash. I was behind them and saw it happening, but had time to slow down; there was no real danger to me, and no panic as we would all be given the same time if we were delayed as the crash happened in the final three kilometres.
There was a lot of debate afterwards as to who was at fault but while I did see what looked like a bit of a scuffle, it was hard to tell exactly what happened. Anyway, I hope Veelers is okay.