Staying alert, and the question of 2012 Tour and Olympics
Well what a day yesterday was! It’s one thing climbing those mountains in the Tour anyway, but at the front going up the Tourmalet was just amazing.
The buzz from the crowd was unbelievable. There was so many GB and Welsh flags out there, I’d just like to say thanks for the support. It really means a lot to the whole team.
I will be there along with Flecha and Swift, at the front to help them out. Basically, if the break looks to be going, I will attack to keep the bunch moving and the attacks flowing. Or just try and ride the group back up. It helps having everyone there to help the guys make the break but it is still hard. Especially on a day like today when everybody knows it is likely to succeed.
Once the break is gone, we will ‘chill’ as much as possible a save our energy for the climb. By ‘chilling’ we will still be concentrating.
The only time we would be able to switch off totally is at the end of the stage when in the gruppetto.
Even then, we are tired and just looking at the wheel in front, not much sightseeing. The rest of the time, we have to be alert.
This is one of the most tiring aspects of the Tour, in the first week especially. With so many crashes and wind changes etc we constantly have to be aware of what is happening and ‘switched on’. Cav has said this is the most tiring part of the race and I’d have to agree!
Speaking of Cav, he is having another amazing tour. It's crazy the situation he is in now. If he wins by a wheel, "Oh, Cav is struggling". Or even worse, if he gets beaten: "Oh, what’s wrong with Cav?".
I guess that’s the price you pay for being the fastest guy in the world. It's good to see him winning though, albeit in a rival team. We’re good mates at the end of the day, and both British.
There are also a lot of rumours and stories of whether I will miss the Tour next year because of the Olympics.
The way the Team Pursuit is these days, I think you need a lot more time on the track to adapt and really get up to speed.
There’s talk of me doing a few tests after the Tour to see how I have coped.
At the minute, I am unsure of what I will do. Obviously I love racing here at the Tour and would love to do it again. But on the other hand I don’t want to risk losing at the Olympics, especially in London. For now though I have stage 13 of this year's race to worry about.