Thursday, 16 July 2015

Tour des Deux Sevres - Day 1

After my crash in Tour Nivernais Morvan I didn't have much time to recover because I went to Switzerland for a week to see some familiar faces, ride some long climbs and just get away from Nantes for a bit. 

Switzerland was great as always. Unfortunately I couldn't ride as much as I wanted to in the beginning because I still had problems with my back from the crash, but it was getting better and towards the end I was able to get in some nice 5h rides with lots and lots of climbing. I felt a lot more powerful than last year. Pity we don't have any races with big climbs this year. 

After Switzerland I was chosen for the team that went to Tour des Deux Sevres and was happy to get racing again. 

It started with a 93km stage in the morning and a 28 km TTT in the afternoon. 

The stage was good at first, we had 5 riders (including me) in a big group upfront and the peloton did not seem interested to chase. After 40km disaster struck though, as I dropped my chain and jammed it between crank and frame and couldn't get it out. When I finally did, 5 groups had passed me and the peloton was almost there too. I got back on, dropped it again and had to dismount once more. 

Then the car finally arrived and I jumped on my spare bike. 
Later I changed back onto my old bike and although it was better, I dropped my chain at least 6 more times, fortunately always could get it back up in time. 

It was a pity because I had perfect legs and seemed to be fine whilst everyone was struggling around me. 
 
I finished in a small group almost a minute ahead of the peloton, but already more than 2 and a half minutes behind the winner, which was my teammate Thibault! That made things better again, but it's annoying nonetheless when you're right up there and get dropped because of a mechanical. 



TTT

The TTT was again a bit of a disaster for us. We learned from our mistakes we did in the last one and instead of rain we had 35 degrees and sunshine. But once again it was far from ideal. 

2km in Thibault had a problem with his bike, but instead of changing he tried riding on it way too long and almost got dropped a few times. Then he changed his bike (we all stopped) but it was locked in the 15 ring at the back, so he was spinning like an idiot on the downhills and grinding it on the uphills. 

Every time I felt like we had finally reached a good speed again, a shout came from the back because he was dropped and we had to slow down again. It was a little depressing because I had really good legs. 

We finished far down, but still have 4 riders in the top 20. Still 4 days left to get that jersey back.
 
Video of the stage here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=80&v=vKVq7NjwCsk

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