Before the Tour I was relaxing at my friends and teammates house, recovering from the tough Tour de Bretagne and enjoying myself. Then I received a phone call I have to get ready for another 4 day Tour because they were missing a rider (as one unfortunately got mononucleosis).
So 3 days later I was at the start line, not exactly ready for another suffer fest yet, plus I was feeling a little sick, which didn't help the case. But there was no way around it.
The 168km stage started with a lot of attacks and our team did well taking turns in covering them.
Then a big group left and I almost saw the danger too late and just just managed to slot onto the back before the gap got too big.
Soon some other riders caught up (unfortunately none of our team although all 3 opponents that we were supposed to watch were in there, which was a bit disappointing) and it ended up being a 20 man group.
I kept myself in the background because I was in the minority and also my leader was behind. Being a little sick didn't give me much confidence either. However I felt surprisingly well.
On the circuit there were many attacks but there were only 2 riders that I watched, unfortunately they got mad at me because I always followed them wherever they went.
A few more riders caught up with us including Jules from my team and him being the sprinter I thought he might have a chance for the stage so I helped with the chase, trying to bring back the 2 that were still out in the front. We caught up with them with 500m to go.
Unfortunately I was completely spent and couldn't help in the sprint but he managed a solid 4th anyways and I scrambled to the line in 14, same time as the winner. Not too shabby considering the odds that were against me before the stage.