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TUESDAY: Stages one and two of the Dauphine-Libere were fairly similar. Both featured rolling terrain, and ended with field sprints.
There was a nasty crash inside one kilometer to go yesterday. I was lucky to stay out of trouble. Overall, the day went better than I expected, mainly because I felt better than I thought I was going to. I’m still not firing on all cylinders, but at least I’m starting to come around.
Today we had a nice tail wind all day, which was good, considering it’s been ridiculously hot here in France. I finished yesterday’s stage feeling, and probably looking like a salt lick.
It’s really important to drink on days like these. Our team of eight riders went through about 280 water bottles during the first two stages.
Here’s an interesting point to note – water bottles never get washed. They always get thrown away. This might sound kind of wasteful, but if you consider what one poorly washed bottle could do to a team if it was touched or used by someone sick, than you can see why we do what we do. The team hauls a huge supply of fresh bottles from race to race on the truck, mainly, to keep everyone healthy.
Our hotel rooms were on the small side last night. But as bike racers, we’re pretty used to roommates and tight quarters. I couldn’t figure out whether it was the heat, or if the place was a little more cramped than normal, but I was feeling a little caged.
My mental state was justified after dinner when my wife called and asked what my roommate was snacking on. I told her I didn’t know, and asked how she knew he was eating. She said she could hear the wrapper opening. I guess there are no secrets when the beds are only separated by a foot of floor space. I’d love to give an NBA player a tour of our on-the-road digs someday.
But no complaining. My predicaments are minor. The Brioches la Boulangere team is here at the Dauphine after losing their teammate Fabrice Salanson last week. The funeral was on Saturday and this race started on Sunday. I can’t imagine how hard it is for them to back to work so soon.
Tomorrow is the time trial. Carlos, Bjarne, Sean Yates and I all previewed the course tonight by car. It’s pretty hilly. Actually, it’s the same course we rode in 2000, but backwards. It looks to be a decisive day for the overall contenders. We’re hoping Carlos will be in that group. I’ll be riding the first 15 kilometers hard to give him some solid time splits. I’ll give you the recap of how it all went after stage 4.
Thanks for Reading.
See resutsfrom Stage 2 of the Dauphine.