We survive Corsica, now it’s onwards and upwards to Nice and the team time trial in the Tour de France
There will be nerves at the start, but I think those nerves will keep us on our toes and hopefully lead to a great result
The peloton negotiates a climb during stage three from Ajaccio to Calvi in Corsica.
Stage 3, Ajaccio - Calvi (145.5km)
With the heat, you really have to keep concentrated on drinking a lot. Keeping hydrated is an important part of performing well, and so I had to make sure I did that throughout the stage.
We got a bit lucky with the course as it there was a headwind – it was a bit easier than we thought it was going to be as a result. I think everybody was quite scared that the stage was technical, really twisty and up and down all day . . . it could have been a hell of a race. But the breakaway went pretty easily early on and that settled things down. While it was still hard with the heat, it could have been a lot worse.
Personally, it was a good day again for me. I slipped out of position a couple of times and lost some energy that way, but coming into the last climb I still felt pretty good.
It was a second category climb inside the final 15 kilometres and I was waiting to see if any attacks went. However, I think everybody was thinking about today’s team time trial and the rest of the race, and it was pretty controlled. A few riders went clear but it was not as decisive as it could have been.
The thing is, with a headwind and a big road in the last 12 kilometre, it was always going to be difficult to stay away. I did consider trying something but I hesitated when it was the right moment to go. Still, I think it was always likely to be a sprint at the end, so I don’t have any regrets.
The break came back and in the battle for the victory, Simon Gerrans won. It is fantastic result for him and his team – the Orica GreenEdge riders have been trying since last year to win a stage at the Tour and went close a few times. Because of that, it is great to see them succeed. I also know Simon pretty well, and I have got a lot of friends in that team too.
Simon is a class act and has taken some very big results in the past, such as the Milan-Sanremo Classic. I am pretty surprised that he beat Peter Sagan, but maybe Sagan is not quite as strong as he was this time last year. Simon lunged at the line and it worked out perfectly for him.
I rolled in as part of the group and am still a second off the yellow jersey, which was held by Jan Bakelants of the RadioShack Leopard team. I felt good on the stage although my muscles are still a bit hard. I’m not sure why, but it hurts a little bit on the bike.