Mark Cavendish savoured his Tour de France stage 5 time trial ride around Laval, still on cloud nine after his sprint victory in Fougères and still trying to take in the significance of him winning a Tour stage after years of problems.
Cavendish raced in the green jersey after his stage win lifted him to the top of the points competition. He jokingly admitted he felt like Kermit the Frog but enjoyed being able to race with little pressure and enjoy his ride.
"I just wanted to enjoy it. The public is what makes this race and they were out there despite the weather today. I've had such a welcome from the French public. It's been incredible," Cavendish said.
"I can't go too easy in the time trials because I've got to make the time limit. But it's lucky I'm small and aero, and I could try and enjoy it. I hope everyone stays safe in the rain."
Cavendish admitted the emotions of his stage win meant he had little quality sleep and recovery time.
"I wasn't physically tired, I was emotionally tired but I tried to let it all sink in," he revealed.
"It's been touching being with the team after the win. We had a team dinner last night. Most of the staff were with the team years ago when I was first part of it. It was about being together. I also called Brian Holm, he's my best friend and owe him so much, so we had a late-night emotional chat, which was nice."
Cavendish also celebrated via a video call with his wife Peta and their children.
"My wife Peta sent me a video of her and the kids watching the sprint," he revealed.
"Nobody knows what they've been through to help me. I'm so lucky I've got a family like that, who support me through the good and the bad times."
A second win in Chateauroux?
Thursday's stage 6 finishes in Chateauroux, where Cavendish won his first Tour de France stage in 2008.
He is aware of the symbolism of what a second stage win would mean but in contrast to his emotions of victory, he was keen to avoid raising expectations, at least for now. On Thursday, he will no doubt be focused and hungry to win.
"I know it doesn't sound romantic but I can't look at sentiment, I've just got to get on with the job. I've got to be professional about it," he told Cyclingnews.
"I hate this phrase but we have to take it day-by-day and sprint-by-sprint. Let's see what happens, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
"It's another sprint and I know I've again got to get ahead of the game. Of course, it helps I know the finish…."
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