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.
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