Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Magnus Opus: Homeward bound

I’m disappointed. It’s not like I started today thinking about dropping out of the Tour de France. It just turned out that way. My back started really bothering me after the start. I could never get comfortable on the bike and it was even hard to grip my handlebars there at times. I just couldn’t get any power out. I would try and try and try and there was just nothing. I felt like I had about half the power I did yesterday. I tried smaller gears, bigger gears and nothing. It was one of those days when I could neither spin nor turn gears. The stage itself kicked off with the usual charge

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By Magnus Bäckstedt, Alessio-Bianchi professional cycling team

I’m disappointed.

It’s not like I started today thinking about dropping out of the Tour de France. It just turned out that way.

My back started really bothering me after the start. I could never get comfortable on the bike and it was even hard to grip my handlebars there at times. I just couldn’t get any power out. I would try and try and try and there was just nothing. I felt like I had about half the power I did yesterday. I tried smaller gears, bigger gears and nothing. It was one of those days when I could neither spin nor turn gears.

The stage itself kicked off with the usual charge from the line and the attacks started right from the gun. There was a bit of a tailwind, too, so that boosted the speed even more. Even going up the climbs, it seemed like a full-on sprint the whole first hour and I was having a mess of trouble trying to stay on.

Unlike the other day, though, I couldn’t keep fighting back on. At one point I slipped off the back of the field, moved back to a chase group. Over the next 20km, my back kept getting worse and worse and I kept getting dropped by the grupetto. I would get dropped on the hills and reconnect on the downhills, but each time the gap would get a little bigger….

Suddenly, I found myself riding 70km on my own. That’s not fun when your back is killing you and you don’t have any power going to your legs. All in all, it was a pretty shitty day.

I’m really, really disappointed, but what can you do?

So, tomorrow I get on a plane and go home to Wales to my family. My wife and I are expecting our second child in September, so it will be good to be home for a bit. I will spend some time at home and try to get my physical problems sorted out before focusing on training for the Olympics.

I’ll try to keep in touch over the next couple of weeks and let you know how things are progressing.

Cheers.