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Sylvain Chavanel's diary: A beautiful day at Le Tour

Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) in the break

Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) in the break (Image credit: AFP)

Sorry I wasn't able to send in a diary entry last night, but I really had to relax and recuperate from that stage and the media attention that followed. As you will probably know, yesterday was a beautiful day for me, even though there was a bit of disappointment after I crossed the line. It could have turned out differently, but that's the sport... Afterwards, you turn the page and think of tomorrow.

Initially, I wasn't going to break away early in yesterday's stage at all, as I didn't want to waste any energy. I ended up doing it because an important escape formed with guys like Voigt and Wegmann in it. So I had to join them. Moreover, you never know what can happen on a course like that one - with such a bumpy profile, previous Tours have shown that even the yellow jersey could have been for grabs, so...

After a few guys sat up, we insisted with Wegmann and a rider from Liquigas, while Bouygues Telecom was chasing us. They caught us on the first categorized climb, but I was able to score the points anyway. Behind me, Voeckler went for the second place at the KOM, so we got together on the descent.

We rode on, and the bunch let us. With Voeckler, we had an agreement that we'd share the mountain points equally. If I would have taken all the points at all four categorized climbs, I wouldn't have had the polka dot jersey anyway. So we decided to share so both of us were happy.

During that long phase when we had a big gap, it wasn't actually that hard - it was only when Moreau and Le Lay joined us that we really gave it full gas. During those last 30 kilometres, we were really going fast. I don't know the average speed we had but it was impressive, because we had the wind in our favour.

In the finale, when the bunch came back on us, I tried again on my own. There was a bit of a headwind, and the guys behind rode like hell, so I ended up getting caught, unfortunately.

To read the full diary, click here.

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