Getting It Done. Yesterday was an interesting day for the team: we had Svein in the leader’s jersey, and so were obliged to control the race.
It’s a different vibe controlling the race to get close to the finish and then letting the sprinter teams take over: normally we’re in the situation of wanting to control things late, especially when Tyler’s in the show.
Watching the race unfold, it was great seeing the whole team rolling along on the front, particularly from a physiotherapy perspective as that is the place where they are least likely to get into trouble with crashes and the like.
And as the race started to move to the pointy end of the day, the crashes did indeed begin to take place further back in the bunch. It is always a heart in your mouth moment when you see a crash, with the two thoughts flashing up (yes I can think of two things simultaneously sometimes) being “I hope it’s not one of us” and “I hope they’re ok.”
Fortunately for us, it wasn’t ever any of our boys, with some of our lads saying that they didn’t even know there had been any crashes they were that far ahead of the dramas.
That is always the best part of the job for mine — the talk after the race to hear what happened within the bunch itself.
There is chatting and joking, commiseration from fellow competitors if you’re doing the work for the day, an inevitable “nemesis” character who apparently is always taking the gap that you were about to move through and cutting you off (nemesis stories can get quite hilarious in 3 week stage races with over 90hrs of potential cut-offs by said nemesis), talk about who was shooting for the break and how hard it was for one to get away, and just general war stories.
The finale to all of the stories of yesterday was that we managed to help Svein to the finish in the group that had the same time as the sprinters, thus ensuring he maintained his hold on the leader’s jersey for today’s stage at the least (and hopefully deeper into this race!).
It should be something similar today, and then the course gets a lot hillier, twist-and-turn-ier and difficulter (heh) tomorrow.
I’m looking forward to seeing how we figure through the tougher stuff.