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By Magnus Bäckstedt, Alessio-Bianchi professional cycling team
I feel like crap.
I don’t know why or what is going on, but I feel like crap these days. I sure am not getting my legs to turn the way I want them too and I am struggling quite a bit at the moment.
These are supposed to me my kinds of days and, as I said, I am sort of on home turf, but it was all I could do just to stay in the field. If I knew what was wrong with me, I’d be a happy man, because I could do something about it. As it is, I have no idea why I feel like I lack power and struggling on the bike.
It’s really tough on my head. I want to get my body to do more, but it just doesn’t seem to want to follow through.
I’ve never felt this poorly in a grand tour before. Heck, I’ve not felt like this in any race before. I don’t know what you call it, but I feel like I am “pig rootin’” on the bike, just moving back and forth and my lungs seem to squeal… pig rootin’. I tried a few times to move up for the sprint toward the end, but I just didn’t have the legs to do it.
It was too bad about the crash at the finish today, but this isn’t anything like the troubles we had with some of those insanely dangerous finishes at the Giro this year.
It turned out to be a bit of a mess today only because those two riders crashed, but the finish was pretty clean. The road was plenty wide enough; there were no hazards out there, nothing in the road blocking the approach.
Even that last corner was just a full-speed bend, more or less. The troubles started when Tom Boonen had a spot of trouble with his gears and that slowed him down quite a bit. As that was happening, Kirsipuu almost ran into him, swerved and switched sides to get past him. That happened just as Kurt-Asle Arvesen from CSC was coming through. Arvesen hit Kirsipuu’s wheel and that was it. That’s the sort of thing that you expect to happen in a bunch kick, though, but as far as I am concerned, from a course perspective, it was a pretty safe finish.
A Scandinavian in yellow!
One thing that turned out well today, of course, was that Thor ended up in the yellow jersey. I know Thor and he’s worked very hard for this. He’s riding strong, so he definitely deserves it this right now.
It’s a great thing for Norwegian cycling. It’s good for Scandinavian cycling in general to have a guy in the yellow jersey. It generates a lot of interest back home. Norwegian television is coming down to the Tour now and it brings heaps more media coverage. It’s awesome… absolutely awesome.
Bck to the cobbles
So, now this evening, after dinner and my massage, I want to get a good rest and be ready for tomorrow. Ordinarily, I would be looking forward to the cobbles that we have to take on tomorrow, but, as I said, I’m feeling a little off for that.
We’ll see. Wish me luck.