- By Jens Voigt
Oh, I am in the hurt bag! Today was just a terrible day! It was just flat out attacks on the climbs and the break took a long time to get away. Then, in the end, it felt like we were in the desert! It was really hot and the time just did not pass.
“There is no reason to have a race this long!” Two hundred and twenty six kilometres is just too long. By the end we were counting metres, not kilometers!
I’ve said this before, but I think that Tour stages should not go longer than 200 kilometres in the flats and 180 in the mountains. I don’t want to sound like I am getting soft in my old age, but what is the reason? It doesn’t make sense!
Early in the race we did our best to get somebody in the break and Chris Horner got in the initial move. But Sky let us know that since Chris was only 14 minutes down, they were not going to let him go. So he sat up and came back to the group. For a while I was in a counterattack.
But Sky was going so hard, just hammering, or maybe they are that much stronger and they were just riding steady tempo. It doesn’t matter, the pack just exploded. And I can tell you that I got dropped in a group with some very good riders! And what about those poor sprinters that were even further back just trying to survive?
No, it was just one of those days. It was so painful! There was that stupid heat. There was that stupid wind. My butt is killing me. My feet are swelling!
Today was one of those days when you realise just how much pure suffering and pain you endure in the Tour de France. The heat is frying your brain out! You cross the finish line and you don’t know if you are a man or a woman! Water! Water! That is all you want!
So yes today was just plain HARD! Perhaps it didn’t look like that spectacular of a stage, but please do not say it was just some boring transition stage. Dammit, it was hard!