‘I gave everything I had but my legs were just really bad’
Some riders actually changed their bikes in that section of the race.
Chris Froome, for example, changed bikes and got onto his normal time trial machine. I don’t think that was an issue for me – the bike my Garmin-Sharp team had set up for me was perfect.
I was using the Cervélo S5 bike, which aerodynamically is very close to the P5 time trial machine that we normally use. And don’t forget that bike changes probably cost you 20 or 25 seconds, in terms of slowing down, stopping, getting a new bike, and then getting going again.
I believe it was definitely a good option to be able to use the S5 and we were lucky to have that choice.
Next up is the Alpe d’Huez stage. It’s one of the most famous climbs in the history of the Tour and will be great to race on. I have never competed on it, and last rode it when I was 14. It is a climb that I have seen many times on television and so it is going to be incredible to finally be up there, racing on those roads. I am particularly looking forward to Irish Corner ten; the corners count down as the summit gets closer, and loads of Irish fans have decided to come to the race this year, to take over that section and to cheer myself and Nicolas Roche on.
When I get to corner eleven I am going to be thinking ‘what is coming up next?’ It is going to be great the first time up with the supporters, and the second time up they will definitely be going even more crazy. It is definitely going to give me something to think about during the climb!
Between the two ascents of the climb is a very dangerous descent off the Col de Sarenne. There was some talk that the race organisers might scrap the descent if it is raining, limiting the race to just one ascent of Alpe d’Huez in order to play it safe. However they later said that the two climbs and the descent will remain.
It is a pretty brave move by the organisers as everybody has commented that the downhill is extremely dangerous. God forbid, but if somebody does get hurt, it is going to be an interesting situation . . .
I think it would be a very difficult decision to make to change it. . . But, that said, I believe it is a situation that the riders shouldn’t really be in, knowing the condition of the road on the downhill, the drops off the edges and how dangerous it could be. Fingers crossed that everyone stays safe, and we have a good day’s racing.