Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeBlogsEx-Garmin Physio Toby Watson's BlogConsistent Aggression (Tour of Britain 2010)

Consistent Aggression (Tour of Britain 2010)


Consistent Aggression. I’m in Ipswich, southeast England, and have finally found time to get finger to keyboard (what is the modern equivalent of “pen to paper”?) to scribble (again — what’s the digital version of scribbling? — such important questions on this blog!) down a little of what’s been going on.

This is a very cool race — it goes through beautiful countryside, and the number of fans out on the roads is incredible. There have been a lot of tough stages ranging from mini-Classics stages, through to out and out bunch sprints.

The only beef we as the team staff have with the show is the British traffic. It is so bad that the organisers have to get the whole stage finished well before peak hour, meaning the stages are starting some two hours earlier than we are used to.

Consistent Aggression
Cameron Meyer, multiple track champion and going to be a road great too.

There’s a lot of stuff that needs doing when at bike races in the mornings! And we live in Spain! Early morning hours are double figures where we live! There are eyeballs starting to hang out of heads with fatigue as we prepare for Day 7 of this early morning madness. It’s madness I tell you!

That aside, it’s been a good show thus far, despite us losing half of our team to various ailments. As the season comes to an end I am coming across more and more fatigue-related problems — be it physical fatigue leading to pain on the bike, or just a build-up of systemic stress affecting overall health and well-being. This is normal, and is evident in many of the teams in the peloton. It’s a long season of racing, and we still have more to come!

At this race, Garmin-Transitions have been flying the flag with aplomb, but not as much success as we would like. We have been awarded the most aggressive rider for three of the last four stages, and arguably could have received it for the fourth of those stages too.

Unfortunately, each of these gutsy moves (two each by Cameron Meyer and Dan Martin) have been thwarted by the bunch, with our boys being caught in the final 5km too often for it to be funny any more.

On the Queen Stage in Wales Cam was in a group of seven or eight riders, and shot off the front of them for 30 of the final 35km of the stage, only to be caught by the GC contenders in the final 5km in the move that has defined the overall standings of the race.

With massive thanks to Natalie who was on the final cobbled 20% hill (yes, that is as ridiculously hard as it sounds) — here is a link to a cracker of a video of Cam in the hurt box and then Trav getting up the hill anyway he could!

Not to be outdone, Dan then got himself into the break for two consecutive days, the first day launching more attacks on the peloton, his fellow break contenders, and the lumpy roads of southwest England than can be adequately described. That he didn’t win was a huge disappointment as he had truly lit the stage up for virtually the whole show.

His second day up the road (he’s not afraid of a bit of punishment) saw him in a group of ten or so, and he made the decisive move of the race in the final 10km, splitting that group to pieces, but was probably carrying a little too much from the previous day to be able to close the deal.

Cameron’s second day up the road happened today. He was rolling along with one other rider, with quite a handy lead over the bunch when they passed us in the feed zone. We drove along listening to the race radio updates, oscillating between hope and deflation as the numbers first meant the break would stick, then seemed like it wouldn’t, then vice versa and repeat.

Cam spent the final 10km or so dangling off the front of the race, having done away with his break companion earlier. We were shouting at the radio (similar to when JackyBobby was up the road in Eneco) willing Cam to stay away, or for the peloton to lose organisation, or for him to suddenly find an extra 5km/hr, or SOMEthing, and were finally deflated to hear that he had been caught just before the 1km to go banner.

We’ve been super proud of their efforts, and disappointed they haven’t been rewarded as well as we would like (and think they deserve) for them. But that is bike racing.

We also have Christian Meier sitting in 7th place overall, having been in the key break on the second stage of the race, and so are in there swinging. If just one thing goes our way, we’ll be sending them out of the park.

It’s been a strong performance by a weakened team thus far, and we still have two more stages to get a little more action out there.

I have to wrap it up here though. Apparently there are TWO six o’clocks every day, and I have to be up for the one I didn’t know about. Ohhh the agony of this job. Hahahaha!!! Still living the dream.

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

A Good Result, then a Fail-athon (Post Eneco Tour)

The finale of the Eneco Tour was a time trial, and as hoped, our man Svein defended brilliantly, winding up fifth overall for the race. a Fail-athon. This was a great performance by the big fella, and the bare minimum of what I believe he deserves for his persistence, determination and talent.

The Wait and Hope: Eneco Prologue

The Wait and Hope. Yesterday was the start of the Eneco Tour, a race through the Netherlands, Belgium and (I think) Luxembourg. It’s a week-long race on the Pro Tour circuit, meaning it is one of the handful of races through the year from which teams can accumulate Pro Tour points and enhance their ranking.

February Chills

So January was all sunshine and roses. And then"... KERTHUMP! Along came Europe in winter in all of her furious unpredictability! My first night in Girona was one of the very rare times that it snows in town.

Perfect Storm of Crap: TdF 2010 Stage 2 (mini LBL)

Perfect Storm of Crap! All talk of the Mock aside, holy crap. What a day. Yesterday’s stage was dubbed a mini Liege-Bastogne-Liege as it covered a segment of the same course as that particular race. For those not in the know, LBL is one of the major Spring Classics on the calendar. It’s a tough race with lots of short, sharp hills on very small old roads.

Giro d’Italia Team Time Trial; 4 Hr Race – 4 Sec Difference

Yesterday was the Giro d'Italia Team Time Trial (TTT) a 33km shot through northern Italy where teams departed five minutes apart and raced the clock up the road. The order of starting was based on the overall standing of the best three riders from each team, with the slowest team going first, and the team of the race leader going last (regardless of how their team was faring).

Always Fear The Mock: TdF 2010 Stage 1 (bunchie)

Always Fear The Mock. Some would say that this is the most powerful force in the universe, and yet it has never been quantified. I for one am a firm believer in the Mock, and think that CERN should be turning their attention to investigating the power of the Mock, rather than the trivialities of the God particle, Higgs boson and what-all else you want to talk about.

At Random

The 1978 Crystal Palace Grand Prix

Have you been clearing out the loft, found an old race programme or finishing sheet and wondering what to do with it? Fire it off to VeloVeritas – we love the smell of the old paper, those names that we’d just about forgotten and remembering that British Cycling did actually exist before Sky came along. Kris, my Six Day boss sent me a photocopied sheet from the past the other day – it’s not the best print job but it’s just about readable; the Crystal Palace Grand Prix...

Jakob Fuglsang Takes Us Inside His Spring Classics Season

In English we’d say, ‘Birdsong’ – in Danish it’s ‘Fuglsang.’ Despite the fact that he seems to have been around for a long, long time, Jakob Fuglsang is still only 28 with his best years as a stage race rider surely yet to come. We felt we needed a proper look inside an Ardennes Classic; so who better to speak to than Amstel top 20 finisher, said Mr. Fuglsang?

The Lake APR 2007

The Lake APR: 63 riders took to the start on a bitterly cold - but dry - morning in the village of Bulclyvie. Split into six groups, with a fast scratch which included the previous week's Rosneath winner, Gordon Murdoch of East Kilbride Road Club, as well as the inform Paul Coates of Squadra Via Mazzini Racetool, myself: Stuart Macgregor and Edge pairing of Paul Rennie and Graham McGarritty (who won this race 25 years ago when still a junior!).

Jorg Malcherek – Continental Tyres Director

If there is one thing that can transform the way bicycle rides and handles, it's the tyres. We were fortunate enough recently to catch-up with Continental's Head of Marketing and Sales, Jorg Malcherek, together with the man who handles the brand in the UK, Shelley Childs.

Shane Sutton – Compassionately Ruthless

Nine World and Eight Olympic titles; that's Team GB's haul for 2008 - so far, that is. That kind of excellence doesn't 'just happen,' who's behind it? The GB head coach is Aussie, Shane Sutton - he was still in Beijing the day after his squad's triumphant campaign ended, when we spoke to him.

La Vuelta a España, Stage 15: Notes from Lagos de Covadonga

It's 10:00 pm and we've just finished dinner in our 'local' at Cangas de Onis, we were here last night too. The Mahou is cold, the food is good and the wi-fi is free. It's a working dinner, words and pictures get dealt with in between patatas bravas and chorizo. 'Lagos de Covadonga' - one of the Vuelta legends.