Dan Martin’s Diary: Days 14 and 15 ‘My brain felt like it was being cooked’
I am just over four minutes back from second place. I think anything can happen still
However, after four hours I really started to suffer with the heat. My brain felt like it was being cooked, like being boiled alive.
It meant I didn’t feel good at all at the bottom of the Ventoux. I managed to push through it and felt a bit better higher up when it cooled down, but I was a bit disappointed to slip back when I did, 9km to go.
I ended up riding 15 seconds behind them the whole way up, then half-blew with 2km to go in the headwind.
They took a bit more time out of me, finishing 43 seconds ahead; I ended up 14th on the stage, and 11th overall.
Given I am just 30 seconds behind the 10th-placed rider, Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), if I had stayed in that group I’d be in the top 10 now.
Anyway, aside from the race leader Chris Froome, the general classification is very close at the moment. I am just over four minutes back from second place. I think anything can happen still, even though I believe Froome may have the race for first locked up.
We now have a rest day today, which I am looking forward too. The only thing is we are sharing the hotel with Team Sky, and so I think there will be a bit of a media frenzy.
I know a lot of the riders on the team well so it’ll be good to be around them, but the hotel lobby is going to be a heck of a lot busier than if we were on our own!
Glancing at the stages ahead, there is a lot of climbing left in the Alps. I’m looking forward to those – I think the days with multiple climbs suit me much better than a stage like the Ventoux, where there was just one big mountain and it was an explosive effort.
The way my body works is I am a lot more efficient on the climbs than most riders, so when it is up and down all day, it works out well for me.
There are a few days like that to come, and so I am really excited about this final week of racing.
I feel fresh and mentally, I feel very fresh too – not a lot of guys can say that at this point.