That was a hard fight today and I am very satisfied. Sixth place on the longest stage of the Tour shows that my form is getting better. I haven't had such good legs in a long time. That gives both the team and of course me a lot of confidence for the next stages. We worked very concentratedly. We wanted to set up a sprint for Peter and I was to get involved as soon as the climb got serious.
A rest day at the Tour de France is not at as restful, as one might think. Yesterday, after a 5 hour transfer to the next stage finish, we arrived at 11 p.m. at our hotel in the Departement le Charente-Maritime. Things started today at 9:30 with a Covid test. We rode a short training round before I went for x-rays. The collarbone is doing well.
The fifth stage of the Tour was really a special one. Simply put, no one wanted to go in a break group. So there was none and we took our time until 40 km before the finish. That as good for my collarbone, but it still bothers me some. I feel the pain in my back, and that affects the muscles. I am in good hands every day with our physio therapists.
The first stage of the Tour de France presented us riders the absolutely worst conditions that could possibly happen. After the rain, the roads were extremely slick, and there were a lot of crashes, with three of them right in front of me. If I had been involved, that could have been a quick end of the Tour for me. That's why I rode extra carefully. Luckily I came through with no crashes.
I am very happy that I can be in this year's Tour de France, which starts this coming Saturday in Nice, despite by broken collarbone. The last training week was naturally not the most comfortable, because of the pain, but the injury is coming along well. I have tried a lot of things to find out how to best cope with the fracture.