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Vaughters’ views: derriere du peloton

Well folks, I figured that I would send in another entry today, as once again it was a strange day for Crédit Agricole. Christophe seems happy, and recovered from his tough day yesterday, so that's good. What wasn't so good, was poor Thor Hushovd. Our polar bear from Norway didn't deal too well with the heat after being in the early break, and cramped severely, having to stop to be massaged. We're not too sure about whether he'll be able to start tomorrow, as he was close to the time cut. This is a cruel, cruel sport cycling.... You're in the break, you cramp bad, and despite the fact

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By Jonathan Vaughters, Crédit Agricole cycling team

Well folks, I figured that I would send in another entry today, as once again it was a strange day for Crédit Agricole.

Christophe seems happy, and recovered from his tough day yesterday, so that’s good. What wasn’t so good, was poor Thor Hushovd.

Our polar bear from Norway didn’t deal too well with the heat after being in the early break, and cramped severely, having to stop to be massaged.

We’re not too sure about whether he’ll be able to start tomorrow, as he was close to the time cut. This is a cruel, cruel sport cycling…. You’re in the break, you cramp bad, and despite the fact you fight your way to the finish then they kick you out. Nice.

Anyhow, as far as I go, I think there may be some questions out there as to my tactic of sitting at the back of the peloton, falling asleep all day. Well, let me explain.

There are two places crashes don’t happen, all the way in the front, and all the way at the back. Anywhere in the middle, and you will find yourself tangled up in a mess of bikes at some point in time.

Now, if you’re Lance Armstrong, and trying to win the Tour, strong as a bull, and have eight teammates protecting you, well you ride in the very front.

If you are me, not very strong, have no chance of winning the Tour, and have a very specific duty to help Christophe Moreau in the mountain stages, then you stay all the way at the back and out of trouble, saving energy for when you need to do your job, which in my case, comes in the mountains.

The big risk of sitting at the back is not crashing, it’s losing time, but as long as you’re not too concerned with that, well, it’s a safe place to be.

Of course if I had my choice, I’d ride in the first 20 the whole race, but I’ve been professional long enough to realize this is something not in my physical capabilities, so I make the best of what I have.

Ah, if it weren’t for damn genetic limits we’d all be Tour contenders, Nobel Prize winners, and we could all dunk the ball, eh?


Tyler Hamilton and Jonathan Vaughters are sending in regular updatesfrom peloton throughout this year’s Tour de France.To read other diary entries go to the “Riders’Diaries” section and follow the appropriate links.