Team CSC-Saxo Bank's Stuart O'Grady will be writing an exclusive diary for Cyclingnews during the Tour de France. In the first installment Stuey checks in from Brest where the team is fine tuning its preparations two days before the race begins:
Just got back from a few days in the mountains with the family, rode up a few bergs and got some fresh air and now I'm ready for the Tour!
The early season looked good and I was pleased with my ride in Paris-Roubaix. But after missing out on so much of the season last year, I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a Grand Tour under my belt and get the engine back into gear.
I thought riding the Giro as preparation for the Tour would help me get another step up before the Tour. Well, obviously that didn't work out. But after seeing the rest of the Giro on TV I think maybe everything happens for a reason. It (the broken collarbone) could have been a blessing in disguise.
A couple of weeks later I was racing the Bayern Rundfahrt and I was pretty happy that my shoulder had recovered so quickly and it was an important race to be able to get right back into it and then straight on to the Tour of Luxembourg. After that a training camp and bang, straight into the Tour of Switzerland.
As for the Tour, personally, my main job is to look after Carlos (Sastre), keeping him out of trouble, look after him at the start and finish. Use my experience in areas of the race where I can be of special assistance. Look after the tactics out on the road.
CSC has a very strong team and we could have picked two Tour teams – our depth is so good. The Schleck brothers will be strong this Tour and Jens (Voigt) will be in every breakaway there is – you can bet on that one with the bookmakers!
Read the full diary here.