The opener here in Brussels has been a giant spectacle, and an experience which I will never forget. The first stage in front of a million fans was simply grandiose. And in the team time trial yesterday we rode through a 30 kilometer long tunnel of fans. That motivates tremendously.We finished twelfth, at 46 seconds down. The results were in order.
The team presentation was a lot of fun, and the mood was great. But what else would you expect in the cycling nation of Belgium. There were so many people there and the whole presentation was an experience which I won't forget soon. I can't really imagine a better opening for this Tour. Otherwise the whole media work is simply very stressful.
I am overjoyed to have won the German championship title on the Sachsenring. It is a very great honor for me to be able to ride the Tour de France in the jersey of the German champion. The team rode a super race today. From the start we were underway fast, and were always pushing things. With a temperature of nearly 40 degrees...
Many are surely asking why I am not at the start of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Don't worry, I'm fine! But I still haven't really recovered fully from the long spring, which ended the middle of May with the Tour of California. So my team and I have decided to pass on this race and use the time for a long and quiet training period.
After finishing the Tour of California with a good tenth place overall, I am now in an altitude training camp with my team in Lienz (Osttirol). So there isn't much time to relax. The training sessions are very intense. Now it's about winding down from the races and finetuning the form. One of our rides took us across the Großglockner road at 2500m.