Last time I wrote, we had just won the team time trial. This time we're in pink, so the least I can say is that it's been good!
I always found it a magic period, getting into the second week. Everybody is just starting to find their rhythm for the next two weeks. It's been very busy for the mechanics and soigneurs, a lot of work from the transfer to the TT, followed by a dead flat sprinters' stage and then two hard and long race days. We've been able to deal with it ok so far. The riders are well looked after by the staff, and we've got cook Soren who's waiting on them for brekky and dinner.
There was a bit of tiredness to be noticed today though, a few tired bodies to be seen out on the bike. Yesterday was a demanding day for everyone, a real day of attrition. Then today we had the first of the mountain top finishes. We came into today's stage and I think everyone was feeling a bit tired; so were our boys. But Ivan, well, Ivan was ready for it. And you've seen that too.
We were feeling confident but our vision wasn't clouded, we didn't get overly positive. Firstly the team directors had a meeting - Bjarne, Allain, and myself - and we talked about the different possible scenarios. Really, today, there weren't too many unexpected things that could happen due to the parcours. It was different to yesterday where, as we saw confirmed, anything could happen; the boys had to be on their toes all the time. Keeping control is pretty difficult on a day like yesterday. It was like moving pieces around the board to have everything covered. A parcours like today's was easier to read and the moves easier to anticipate. The break was controlled to the foot of the climb, and the strongest guy arrived first on the top of the mountain.
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