- By Daryl Impey
Yesterday was a proud day for me and the team. Although we didn’t win, we took the race by the scruff of the neck and left it all out there. I can’t believe no other teams would commit to helping us try win the stage. We knew that Gossy wasn’t feeling good 100km into the race and we could’ve thrown the towel in there as we lost our main sprinter but instead we changed plans and still took charge. Our plan was to give our all and, win or lose, still know we tried our best. I wasn’t feeling my best out there but I don’t think anyone was to be honest. Our boys had everyone in the gutter for 200km and it could not have been fun behind. At the end Albasini had a good crack at going for the win only to be caught with 3km to go. I had Simon Gerrans keeping me out of the wind in the final and although I should’ve started my sprint a bit further forward, it would have been hard to beat Greipel as he is a pure sprinter. Happy with 5th place but I was pissed at Hinault though, drifting for 4th and even more angry how they could relegate Gossy the other day plus minus 30 points for changing his line. Seems they have different rules for different riders.
This team shows so much commitment towards each other and I know we are going to be rewarded for our hard work. I remember Stuey coming up to me and asking how I felt. I said “Not super but I’ll give it my best”. All he said back was “That’s all we can do, boys are riding there arses off, it’s the TDF let’s do it”. I switched my brain immediately over to “harden up” and got so motivated at the same time.
So the plan for the green will change now, it is not within our reach anymore really so I’m sure we will put all our efforts into stages and stop doing the intermediate sprints. But first we’ve got to get over the mountain stage today, the legs are going to be sore for sure. I am praying a break goes early with one of us in it and hopefully makes it to the line.
Time to eat an omelette, porridge, bread and some rice before the start.
- Daryl Impey
Riding his first Tour de France, Daryl is only the third South African ever to have raced at the Tour. He will be blogging exclusively for Bicycling for the Tour’s duration. Log on daily for his blogs from inside the peloton and behind the scenes in France. Follow him on twitter @darylimpey