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Ristoro in a beautiful region

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Hanging down the lago, enjoying beautiful Switzerland.

Hanging down the lago, enjoying beautiful Switzerland. (Image credit: Tejay van Garderen)
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Early morning blood samples are taken, even on the rest days.

Early morning blood samples are taken, even on the rest days. (Image credit: Tejay van Garderen)
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If there's one thing mechanics like more than bikes, it's definitely beer.

If there's one thing mechanics like more than bikes, it's definitely beer. (Image credit: Tejay van Garderen)

The time trial is done and dusted here in Mendrisio and it's time to get the road racing cap on after a couple of days of rest.

Unfortunately I finished a not-so-lucky 13th on Wednesday; there's no point dwelling on it however, as there's still work to be done, and this weekend's road race should prove an interesting one.

Everyone's been talking about how difficult the course is, so tactics and strength should be the two key factors. I'm hoping we have the right plans and enough strength to get us in the best place possible.

In the meantime, I've been enjoying some of the best scenery in the world (below), albeit whilst going about the normal business of being a bike rider, like having early morning blood samples taken. All in a day's work, folks.

Last diary I mentioned George, one of our mechanics - well, I've got a little more on the boys this time, too. Like us, they need a little relaxation, and if there's one thing mechanics like more than dirty bikes to clean and fix, it's beer!

Unlike us, they get to enjoy some of the amber gold during races and they earn that privilege with some stirling work. Hopefully they haven't got too much to do during our race on Saturday and mechanicals don't feature in the outcome.

Until then,
Tejay

Follow American Tejay van Garderen's (HTC-Highroad) exclusive Cyclingnews blog

22-year-old van Garderen, had a stellar 2010 debut season in the ProTour ranks and finished third at the Dauhpine in June and coming in 35th place overall in his debut Grand Tour at the Vuelta a Espana.

In 2009 he finished second overall at the Tour de l'Avenir.

Van Garderen spent the 2008-2009 seasons racing for the Dutch Rabobank Continental team. Winner in 2009 of France's Tour du Haut Anjou and the final stage of the Netherlands' Olympia's Tour (plus second overall).