Early days are full of crashes and nerves
These early days in the Tour this year are underrated. They are not the hardest but certainly they are the days that stay in your legs and can put you on the back foot before the mountains.
The amount of accelerations alone just to maintain position is the hardest thing. I think you have about 700 accelerations in a stage like today and that is something you can't really replicate in training. The only way to get ready for stages like this is to have racing in your legs.
I got through pretty well today and I was lucky not to crash. There were guys going down to the left, to the right and in front of me but somehow I got through. I just tried to stay calm and I didn't try to fight too much for position.
I was behind the big crash and got back to the yellow jersey group with about 30km to go. I think it was about six or seven kilometres of chasing. I'm not really sure how the crash happened but there must have been oil on the road or something. Guys were going in a straight line and just falling over. I’ve been a pro for 10 years and never seen anything like it!
Tomorrow will be nervous again. Most of the crashes are happening in the front with guys fighting for position so the decision now is whether to try fight for position into the cobbles or just hang back a bit and try go into the cobbles about 50 or so riders back.
For sure it's going to be interesting. We'll probably see the race turn on its side again I'd say.
- 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
- July 23, 2010, 3:17 BST
Tired Rogers talks about the impact of a long Tour
- July 17, 2010, 2:14 BST
Overall contenders rest before the Pyrenees
- July 12, 2010, 20:20 BST
Cavendish stage wins "huge relief"