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Quietly confident approaching the Pyrenees

By:
Michael Rogers
Published:
July 12, 2010, 20:20 BST,
Updated:
July 12, 2010, 21:23 BST
Race:
Tour de France

Cavendish stage wins "huge relief"

Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) at the finish at Morzine-Avoriaz

Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) at the finish at Morzine-Avoriaz

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Well, we're now at the first rest day. It hasn't been the hardest first week of a Tour de France that I've done, but I think it was definitely the most challenging mentally. Starting in the Netherlands and then into the cobbled stage made for a pretty tough and nervous start.

Cav's first win on Thursday was a huge relief for Cav and the team. He hasn't had an ideal year in the lead-up to the Tour and he obviously had a huge amount of pressure on him from the media, the team and probably himself. If you really look at it, last year was an amazing year for Cav. With all his results, we all start thinking that he’s been around for a long time, but really this is only his fourth year as a professional.

Winning 10 Grand Tour stages and races like Milan-San Remo is extremely rare for a rider. Actually, most riders really only have an amazing ride like Cav did at Milan-San Remo about once a year, but he went on to win some amazing races last year and I think it sort of became expected that he would do that every year. Trying to repeat a season that like is almost impossible to achieve.

All that pressure came out after the win. The team did a great job getting him to the line right from the start of the stage with Kosta [Kanstantsin Siutsou - ed.] riding all day on the front and Bernie [Bernhard Eisel - ed.] and Mark [Renshaw] doing what they do best in the closing kilometers. All the pressure came out for Cav at the end of the stage. It was a great day for him and the team. After that, I think the second win came pretty easily.

With regards to the mountains, it’s been tough mostly because of the heat. The first mountain stage was a lot harder than I expected. I really struggled on that stage with the heat. Things turned around with the slightly cooler conditions yesterday and I felt much better. I just couldn't follow in the last couple of kilometers but I'm happy not to have lost too much time.

I'm quietly confident coming into the Pyrenees that I can do well in what I think will be a tough second week of the Tour.

We're all pretty happy to have had a rest day today and now we're looking forward to getting back into it.

Author
Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers turned pro in 2001 in the legendary Mapei colours, and quickly established himself as one of the peloton's strongmen. He won three consecutive World Time Trial Championships between 2003 and 2005, and this prowess against the watch allied to his solid climbing made him as a perennial stage race contender. He has top ten finishes in both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia to his name, as well the general classification in the Tour of Germany, Tour of Belgium and Tour Down Under. A crash at the 2007 Tour de France followed by a bout of mononucleosis temporarily stunted his progress but only strengthened his resolve, and the Australian has since returned to the front of the peloton with some hugely impressive displays. A leader at HTC-Columbia, Rogers took a fine win at the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, and you can follow his assault on Tour glory here on cyclingnews.com

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