Team Garmin-Transitions’ physiotherapist Toby Watson will be checking in from the roads in France during Le Tour (literally from the roads as the transfers from start to finish in the car are the medical staff’s only down time!)
Yesterday was always going to be the day that the breakaway succeeded. The profile of the course and the stages on the days either side of it meant that neither the GC nor the sprinter teams would be interested.
It wasn’t hard enough to separate the GC lads, but wasn’t easy enough for the sprinters to make it to the finish with the main bunch.
That meant that the first race of the day was to get into the break, and so the first hour of racing was extremely fast as small groups tried to get away and were hauled back by teams who didn’t have someone in the break and so on and so forth.
Unfortunately we had another bad crash in this period with Robbie Hunter hitting the road pretty hard. He has a small radial head fracture (near his elbow, affecting his hand positioning capabilities) but he’ll start the stage today. We’re hoping he can get through it in survival mode.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but these blokes go through so much pain in this race: they’re very tough men.
Once the break did go away, the peloton rode without major incident, the main difficulty again being the heat. I’m not sure if we’re noticing the heat because the whole season until this race has seen cold and wet conditions reign: one of our boys had more race days in the wet by the START of the Giro (in May) than he had for the whole of the 2009 season.
Although upon reflection, the weather is really hot, and undoubtedly the peloton would be suffering regardless of what had happened in the season to date. All that we as the support team can do is work out strategies to help beat the heat.
Today’s stage looks like it will be a bunch sprint. Fingers crossed for some good results for our boys in a few hours time!
More photos from the Tour de France: