- By Daryl Impey
Ok I think its time for me to start respecting this race a bit more. Stage 15 was one of the hardest starts I have ever had in my life before. I started right near the front and, as we hit “KM 0″ I went straight from the front to the back where I stayed for the next 40km. It was twisty, up and down and in single file. I eventually got my way to the front and tried to get into a move as I thought everyone was tired by that stage but all I did was put myself back into the red zone. Thank goodness those 5 got away and things settled as I was in a lot of pain and suffering at that point. In the morning I thought “not long till we get to Paris” but in that moment I was even wondering whether I would see Paris. I got through the day and Lotto wanted us to ride because they wanted a sprint but we said no, none of us were feeling great and it was maybe time they took control like we did 2 days before without any help and they reaped the rewards.
Well yesterday’s rest day was really nice and I got a chance to sleep in and also catch up on an afternoon nap. I also did a 2.5hr ride as I have learnt from the Giro that 30mins on the rollers was just not enough, I paid for it the next day. So I did a longish ride with a couple of efforts and finished off with 15mins on the rollers to get a real sweat going. At this point I don’t want my body to get into the recovery mode as it will take a long time to get out of it.
I feel really sorry for my roomie Brett Lancaster who crashed a few times in the Tour and was forced to abandon the day before the rest day. It was unfortunate that the start was so hard as we will miss him in the lead out this year but I am sure his glute will recover from the crash (poor guy was basically riding with one leg). What a top guy he is, always sacrificing for the team.
To everyone who read my blogs and post messages of support to me and Orica Greenedge, thanks very much. It is really appreciated and keeps me going. Today we have the Tourmalet, Col d Aubisque, Col d’Aspin and Col de Peyresourde which is going to a thrilling race to watch between the GC contenders. Maybe some kinks in the armour today, we’ll see how kind the rest day has been to everyone. I have attached a picture of what I have been staring at all morning for you guys, enjoy!
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