The season has re-started. I am satisfied with my podium place on the Italian gravel race Strade Bianche. I would not have thought I would cope so well with the heat. It was measured at up to 40 degrees in the shade. The roughly 184km around Siena were extremely challenging and the dusty gravel sections were pretty dangerous.
I am happy to tell you that I have extended my contract with my current team BORA-hansgrohe for four years, until the end of 2024. In the last year and a half I have found my place in the team and feel really well there. I am convinced that my successes were only possible under these conditions and with the support of everyone at the team.
I am really looking forward to my first race after the lockdown. On August 1 I will be at the start of Strade Bianche in Italy and I very much hope that the race will take place as planned. My teammates have already shown with their successes at the Tour of Sibiu how hungry we are after this long break. But there is still some uncertainty.
I am all in at the moment. The last few days I have been on the bike nearly all day. I'm putting in up to 180 kilometers on such a work day. Unfortunately I have to go it alone due to the "social distancing" restrictions. But I don't want to take any risks, obey the rules and am happy that I see so many other cyclists on the road during my training rides.
This is an unbelievable feeling – I won Paris-Nice! And if that wasn't enough, I could defend the yellow jersey from the first stage on. I fulfilled a dream with this win. A big thank you to my team! The guys always held me out of the wind, at times in extreme weather conditions. They controlled the race, especially in the last and next-to-last stages.