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.
The Queen Stage today was not an easy one. It was 227 kilometers long and the last 100 kilometers were a really hard chase. The lead group was a strong one and the sprinter teams absolutely wanted a bunch sprint. Even if I wasn't a part of that, I am still in the yellow jersey after the fifth stage. Whether I will wear it again tomorrow doesn't depend on the challenging stage...
The team put on a super performance today in the second stage of Paris-Nice. Almost all our guys were up front. It was almost enough for Pascal to take the stage win, and as eighth I defended the yellow jersey. It can hardly go better. But the race is really hard. Until kilometer 120 it was extremely cold. I had thought it would get warmer and not rain so much.