A perspective on what the riders did on their day off
The first rest day of the Tour de France comes not a day too soon for the peloton, which endured a very nervous and dangerous opening week. Cyclingnews has put together a gallery of the press conferences, training rides, photoshoots and rehabilitation sessions that make up a Tour rest day.
The King of the Mountains leader
Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) used the day for some much-needed recovery after Sunday's horrific crash. Hoogerland had cold-compression treatment on his wounds to speed the healing of his 33 stitches, and yet still had the time to go for a light ride and sign some autographs.
A busy day if you're a physio
Matt Rabin, team physio for Garmin-Cervelo described his day ahead as steady, but busy.
"[Like most rest days] We go to work to reset their bodies biomechanically to be functioning as optimally as possible when they climb on for stage ten tomorrow," he explained.
"The mantra is trying to find the one or two things which allow everything else to fall into place from a functional perspective, and switch on/engage inhibited muscles, or return normal range of motion or muscle length or whatever it may be."
Leopard-Trek are sitting pretty after the first week, with both of their GC contenders, Fränk and Andy Schleck sitting high in the overall standings. The Luxembourg-based team had an outdoor press conference and a quiet ride around Anglards de Saint Flour.
"It’s sad to see to what degree luck has influenced the course of the race," Andy Schleck commented at the team press conference. "You can avoid crashes to a certain extent, by staying at the front of the bunch and being very aware of possible dangers - but at the same time it’s really out of your hands. We feel very fortunate that none of our team members were involved in a big crash."
The team also used some of their spare time to convince Jens Voigt to join twitter (@thejensie). It's about time.
Alberto Contador's (SaxoBank-Sungard) day was uneventful after no less than four crashes in the first nine stages. After the morning's 60 kilometre spin, teammate Richie Porte played down speculation that the Spaniard had been injured in any signicant way by yesterday's crash on the road to Saint-Flour.
"I think he's okay - he was moving around well on the bike this morning," the Australian said to Foxsports News.
A nice change from last year for Evans
Former world champion Cadel Evans (BMC) meanwhile commented that it was nicer to not have the yellow jersey [as opposed to last year] on the rest day, because it meant he could actually rest and rehabilitate.
"It's nice not being asked for interviews all day. It's a lot more relaxed, and I'm sure it'll help later in the Tour de France," the often media-shy Australian said at the much more low-key BMC press conference.
Voeckler's day in the sun
Finally, current Maillot Jaune Thomas Voeckler enjoyed the attention of the L'Equipe photographers in the Europcar camp. The Frenchman was photographed reading an issue with himself on the front cover.
Rest day highlights from the twittersphere:
Mark Cavendish, @MarkCavendish - "Had a dream (nightmare) last night that an intermediate sprint got changed and I didn't know about it. This #TdF malark absorbs your life!" - We all have that dream, Mark.
Cadel Evans, @CadelOfficial - "@johnlelangue Err....if we were not sponsored by La Coquillade winery....I'm sure we would have less 'typos' in the staffs tweets!" - Evans joked with his team boss.
Robert Gesink, @RGUpdate - "Enjoying a well deserved rest after a week of more than 1400km of riding. After an hours cycling this morning - finally getting some rest!"
Jens Voigt, @thejensie - "And just to let you know, I actually did really enjoy my restday, one day without pain and stress, and I am ready for the next stage!!!" - Jens' first proper tweet.
Ivan Basso, @ivanbasso - "Rest day ... useful to catch my breath after nine stages.. preparing for an intense battle in the mountains!"
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