Tuesday, July 27, 2021
HomeBlogsEx-Garmin Physio Toby Watson's BlogThe Next Level: TdF2010 Stage 17 (mountaintop)

The Next Level: TdF2010 Stage 17 (mountaintop)


Today, TdF2010 Stage 17, was the showdown. As all who watch cycling know, any stage with a mountaintop finish is where many of the overall selections happen, and when the mountain is the Tourmalet, which is enormous both in terms of the difficulty of the climb, as well as its history, it’s all the more definitive.

Thus we all held the hope that Ryder would be able to continue his brilliant run of form, but knew that as it was such a hard climb, anything could happen.

It was rainy this morning as the boys ran to the bus for the start, and with mixed feelings I watched them head off.

I was once again on hotels. The ambivalence was because I would actually be able to have a bonus rest day (no transfer again! Woo!), as well as watch the race unfold, and would also be out of the crappy weather; but would be that little bit distanced from things as they went down, and would be unable to celebrate with high fives, hugs and roars of “BOOMbah!” as whatever happened happened. (Boombah has become a significant portion of the staff’s fallback cry of celebration over the course of the season. I’m not sure why, nor what the etymology is, but there you go.)

TdF2010 Stage 17
Man of the hour running to the bus pre start.

The morning for me (and Alyssa, who was also on hotels) was taken up with sorting out our stock of water and drink mix and food, making sure we were right for the remaining couple of days. Then Chinese buffet for lunch.

We’ve been at this hotel for three days, and the hotel is right in front of the biggest Chinese restaurant I have ever seen. It has been calling my name for days, and I finally talked some people in to coming across and taking it on. An excellent decision.

Then it was back to watch our boys on the tv, yelling at the screen like any self respecting sport watcher does. The majority of the time was placid, watching the break dangle off the front, while the peloton did it’s thing, with the distinctive fluoro orange of the Garmin-Transitions helmets popping up regularly enough for me to be happy with the way things were panning out.

There was a brief period of dismay when there were sheep across the road, but thankfully it wasn’t on a descent, so all was well.

Once the final climb came along, I was glued to the screen, looking for glimpses of Ryder in the midst of the hitters group.

The final couple of kilometres was a particularly frustrating period, as the race for 1st place was covered on the screen, whilst all I was interested in was the group immediately behind those two blokes.

Every time they did flash back, there was Ryder, banging along with a smaller and smaller group around him. The only moment of worry, and it was small, was when they flashed back to the chase group Ryder had been in after the stage was won, and Ryder was nowhere to be seen.

All I was thinking then was “minimise the losses mate. You’re right up there, the damage won’t be too bad. Just tap along and keep it small.

The Next Level
Second climb of the Tourmalet.

The absolute delight that was felt when they flashed to third place across the line and the lanky Canuck legend was just emerging from the mist for fourth was enormous. And this delight was verbalised and echoed throughout the hotel as those of us who were watching in the hotel all yelled and cheered for our man.

It was a great performance, and a brilliant result, setting Ryder into 8th place on the general classification, with two flat stages and a time trial to come.

Now the rubs and treatments are finished, and it’s mealtime, and the roadshow continues up the road to Bordeaux tomorrow.

Congratulations to Ryder on today’s ride particularly, but also on his performances of the past 19 or so days. A job well done by the Hesje, and the team as a whole so far.

Toby Watsonhttps://www.veloveritas.co.uk
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

Related Articles

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 19: Embrun – Salon-de-Provence, 222.5km. Edvald Boasson-Hagen at last!

To paraphrase the late, great Donna Summer; ‘they work hard for the money.’ Those Sky boys. Perhaps Henao had a few mountain days where Sir David and Le Chien Froomey didn’t think the Columbian did enough graft – he made up for it on Stage 19 though, riding tempo remorselessly on the front of the peloton. Spectacular? No. Damn hard work? For sure.

Star Status: Confirmed

Star Status. Stage 3 was a tough “mini Spring Classic” style of a day which was remarkably hectic in the final 40km, and which saw Peter Sagan give his older, better-credentialed rivals an absolute bath. He was the hot favourite for the stage, and with a cool head controlled his team, and the stage completely.

Early Shows Of Form

Early Shows Of Form... The “Mini Liege” Stage has been done and dusted, and the next big thing in bike racing (if he isn’t already there) has shown he will be competitive at the very highest level. Peter Sagan entered the stage as one of the favourites for the win, and was flawless in executing his victory. He is not as quick as Cav (and never will be) but can contest so many more finales as he is able to stay with the leaders on tougher stages.

Will They or Won’t They? (Preview: TDF 2012 Stage 10)

Will They or Won't They? Stage 10 has the classic look of a day when they break will get away and stay away all through to the finish. It is 194km long through high mountains, but the final 43km of the stage has 33km of descending in it. This is the sort of stage that Thor Hushovd won on last year, and will see the usual breakaway specialists licking their lips at the prospect of a shot at a stage win.

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 11 : Albertville – La Toussuire – Les Sybelles, 140 km.

We're late! Despite us writing our schedule out for the morning, we're heading to the Albertville depart later than we should. I just smile when people tell me about the high old time we'll have in France. By the time we get from the parcours to the hotel, edit the pictures, insert picture holders in the text and get all that sent off, it's well after 9:00 pm when we grab a pizza and one beer.

Final Shot (Preview: TDF 2012 St 17)

Today is the stage that I have been looking forward to the most since I had a proper look at the various stage profiles back in early June. It is a genuine belter! The back end of the race includes an Hors Categorie climb immediately followed by a First Categorie climb.

At Random

Le Tour de France 2013 – Rest Day Two, Vaucluse. Moules and Interviews

It's the rest day today, and we're in Vaucluse, reading L’Équipe; ‘Naturellement’ says the headline. It’s ambiguous, to say the least. Does it mean that the Ventoux was always to be the place where Froome was going to place his stamp on things? – after all I wasn’t the only one who tipped him or Voeckler for the stage win. Or does it mean they think he’s ‘clean’ – natural?

A Day at the ‘Duinencross’ – the Koksijde Cyclo-Cross 2014

We're at the Gent Six Day, and of course, the pils still gets the better of a few of the ‘don’t get out much brigade.’ Friday night didn’t see the best madison chase ever, and on a unanimous decision we headed for frites – and beer. We love the Vivaldi, the landlady, the crazy clientele, the 70’s Disco and the fact that no matter how late we stay, we’ve never seen closing time... And the Saturday of the Gent Six Day means just one thing – the big ‘cross at Koksijde.

Chloé Dygert Owen – Winning Rainbow Jerseys for Five Years

How long a career do you need to have to win 10 [yes ten] World titles? US ‘chrono girl,’ Chloé Dygert Owen has won that many and she’s still only 23 years-old; and there are two Pan Am golds and an Olympic silver in the dresser drawer too. High times we ‘had a word’ with the young lady out of Indiana.

Copenhagen Six Day 2011 – Days Three and Four, a Pity about Colby and Jesper’s Bladders

It's Monday morning at the Copenhagen Six Day 2011 and I've folded the clothing, tidied the cabin, swept the floor, cleaned the flasks, blah, blah, blah...The wi-fi has decided to visit the cabin and Tommy Hunt is 'Loving on The Losing Side' from the laptop - it's hard to be 'down' when the 'Northern' is banging out. The weekend was a bit of a blur; Saturday was a split session - nitemare!

Dan Patten, Season 2013 – Over and Out!

So its been a few months since my last blog posting but now a week into my off-season its time to put some words together and sign off on this 2013 season. Having stepped on the plane to the USA way back on February 4th and now already in November its been a busy nine months; five months in the USA to start with and four months between USA/Belgium/UK is a lot of km's covered... by plane, car, boat and of course by bike!

The Pressure of the Yellow Jumper – Tour of the North

For those of you out there that don't follow each and every cycling result (most), over the Easter weekend part of the Node4-Giordana team rode the Tour of the North in Northern Ireland.