Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeBlogsEx-Garmin Physio Toby Watson's BlogInto The Bumps: Eneco 2010 Stage 3

Into The Bumps: Eneco 2010 Stage 3


Into The Bumps. Stage 3 saw the profile go from pancake flat to very lumpy. It was bound to be a day where things were shaken up somewhat on the over all standings, but Canadian hardman/topbloke Svein Tuft is a quality athlete, so we were quite excited about still being in the mix.

Into The Bumps
Cameron Meyer on a cobbled sector.

The day was also pretty hot, meaning we had a large number of bottles to be handed out, in a lot more places than is normal, so Joachim our swannie designated to making up the bottles this week had a bit of work to do.

The stage was different from the sprint stages in another way, in that it never really went more than about 40km from the start/finish town, despite being a 192km race.

Into The Bumps
J-Quan working hard.

The course zigzagged all over the place looking for any hill of note to throw the boys over. Thus we were looking to get in front of the lads at various points to make sure they could get bottles without losing position on the ridiculously narrow roads.

It was similar to what we do for the Ardennes Week races (Amstel, Flech-Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege).

As Trav Meyer noted, he started one climb in about 50th place, and felt fine going up the hill, passing blokes whenever there was space, but half the time he was waiting for a gap to open up to move forward.

At the top he felt fine, but was dropped from the front group simply because he’d not been able to get himself into the right position.

Into The Bumps
200 riders on a road this wide?

Our day started with strapping for those in need, followed by obligatory Belgian radio 80s mix (Kate Bush “Wuthering Heights” was the highlight) for those in the car.

I ended up being lucky to find myself in car 2, with Marc Quod (Quody) our driver, and Andrezj Poznak our mechanic.

Each team has two race cars following the riders, with the order of the cars determined by the position of the highest rider on GC for each team. We were car 1 (go Svein) and so were the first of the line of the second cars.

Why two cars? We can at times have someone in the break, and the rest of the team in the peloton.

This is a several km spread on a road that you can only drive in one direction. It’s impossible to cover a whole team with just one car, so whenever things split apart (either in front of or behind the peloton), car 2 gets called into action.

There was a hilarious moment today when I realised that instead of sticking the race signs to normal street signposts (which most every other race does) they had two skinny old blokes working it as sign holders, similar to the bikini models holding up the signs between rounds at a boxing ring. Hare-brained left-fielded low tech can-do Belgie-ness at it’s absolute best!

Into The Bumps
Bikini girl Belgian bike race style.

As the race rolled on we started looking after lads who had a bad patch at the wrong time and found themselves out of touch, or who were in the wrong position on a climb, or who had done their job for the day.

It can get very hectic, with a couple of near death experiences through the day being about par.

Into The Bumps
Jack & Quody having a chat.

Our man Svein boxed on over all of the tough hills and particularly with the help of Trav Meyer (who rode out of his skin all day) he managed to stick with the big hitters group, keeping himself in third place overall (two blokes had skipped off the front in the final 20km and the bunch couldn’t drag them back in.

Stage 4 is another flat stage, so things should be a little less worrisome for us.

Toby Watson
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

Hump Day & Humdrum: TdF Stage 11 (bunchie)

Hump Day & Humdrum. As the physio on team Garmin-Transitions, all I can say is this is a dangerous sport. All things considered, 3rd place for Tyler yesterday was a fantastic effort by the whole team, with Dave Zabriskie helping to control the break for most of the day.

Double Challenge: TdF 2010 Stage 8 (mountaintop)

Double Challenge. Mountain stages in bike races are inevitably decisive in sorting where riders finish in the race overall. They pose a number of challenges to a team atop the obvious physical barrier of the terrain itself.

The Finale: Stage 20 (bunchie) Very Tardy!

The strangest stage of the whole race from the point of view of the staff is the finale into Paris. Our team base is in northern Spain, and so all non-essential equipment went from Bordeaux back to Spain (rather than go to Spain from Bordeaux via Paris — a 1200km detour). Thus we were truckless (or untrucked?) for the only time in the race. Very Tardy.

Getting It Done: Stage 1 Eneco 2010

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.

World Championship 2010 Training Camp

It’s been a cool experience jumping off of the Garmin-Transitions train and into the Australian team for the past week, for the World Championship 2010 Training Camp.

The Next Level: TdF2010 Stage 17 (mountaintop)

The Next Level. 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.

At Random

Tom Murray – Unfinished Business

Continuing our series about racing in Belgium, we had a chat with Tom Murray last week, who is back racing on the continent after the Plowman Craven Madison team ceased operations.

Giro d’Italia 2016 – Stage 16; Not a good day for Esteban Chaves

It wasn't a good day for Chaves on Tuesday's Stage 16, he lost time to Kruijswijk and Valverde. With three minutes in hand over the Colombian, the Dutchman is going to take a bit of shifting; and there's a danger that Valverde might leapfrog Chaves, too - he's now just 23 seconds in arrears. Nibali lost time, too.

The VV View: Chris Froome, Vik’s Pressies and the Giro in Israel?

We hope you enjoyed our series of interviews with Scotland’s medal prospects for The Gold Coast – we certainly enjoyed speaking to such talented and highly motivated young men and women. But let’s not got too cocky...

Stuart Balfour – World Road Championships Breakaway Driver

Perhaps it was the ‘Scottish’ weather at Harrogate which made the Scots perform so well at the recent World Road Championships? Stuart Balfour spent much of his u23 Championship ‘up the road’ to help set up GB team leader, Tom Pidcock for his eventual bronze medal; Balfour finished in 39th spot.

The 2008 Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike Series

Rob Wardell emailed to tell us about the first round of the Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike Series which is due to take place in less than 3 weeks' time, at Laggan Woftrax. Online entries are now being taken at EntryCentral. Riders who enter online at EntryCentral will also receive a :£5.00 discount over postal entries and entries on the day.

An Incredible Day – on the Col d’Aubisque, Tour de France 2007

It was completely surreal. It was the 26th of July last year, and we were in Lourdes, sitting in a neon-lit, scruffy, greasy-spoon café at 1:00 in the morning. Our pizzas were cooking in the oven, but we weren't really that hungry anymore. We had travelled to the summit and back down again today, both literally and metaphorically; we'd had a wonderful day working on Stage 16 of the Tour de France which took the race to the ski station, 5,600 feet high, at Gourette - Col d'Aubisque in the Pyrenees, and it had been turned completely on its head.