Posted Mon, 06/17/2013 - 10:41 by ianmcclure
Saturday June 15, Stage 8
With a first category climb coming after 40km, there were loads of guys warming up this morning, which is always a sure sign of a fast start. The last chance to win a road stage before Sunday's final time trial, the beginning of today's stage could have been mayhem, but when we rolled out of the neutralised section and the flag was dropped, everybody started shouting "easy, easy" so I guess mine weren't the only tired legs this morning.
Posted Fri, 06/14/2013 - 16:37 by ianmcclure
Although the pace wasn't as frenetic as previous stages, the problem with these so-called 'quieter' days is that a lot of riders let their guard down and there can be plenty of crashes as riders are caught chatting or not paying attention in the middle of the bunch. Today my Italian team-mate Daniele Bennati got a tyre burn on one of his legs as a souvenir from one of them.
Posted Thu, 06/13/2013 - 18:09 by ianmcclure
With live coverage of the stage finishes on tea-time Swiss TV, we don't start until around 2.30pm every day which means plenty of boring mornings.
I'm sharing with Czech rider Roman Kreuziger, who is just 23 seconds off the yellow jersey. At home, we're both early birds and like to get up at 7.30. Here, we set the alarm for half eight, but most of the time we're up well before that trying to fill the time by reading car magazines, watching TV or spending time on the internet. In the evening we like to have a bit of time on our own, and have become comfortable in our own silence. I'm watching Jack Reacher at the moment, but with dinner not finishing until around 10.45pm, it's taken me four days to watch the first hour and a quarter as we switch off the lights around 11.30.
Posted Wed, 06/12/2013 - 18:13 by ianmcclure
Although we've been pretty well organised with team cars and a camper van since our Saxo Tinkoff team bus broke down on the way to the race last Saturday, it was nice to have it back this morning. The bus can be a bit of a haven on big races like the Tour de France. Before each stage start it's parked up in a nice strategic spot alongside the other teams and is utilised as a dressing-room, a team meeting-room, a shelter from bad weather and a place of calm in the mayhem of fans and hysteria that is the Tour. After each stage the bus turns into a changing-room, shower facility and mobile diner as we make our way to the next hotel.
Posted Tue, 06/11/2013 - 17:35 by ianmcclure
With the first-category climb at Hasliberg coming just 19km from the end of today's stage, we knew the descent would be important today as soon as we pulled back the curtains in our hotel room and saw another wet and miserable day outside. The plan for my Saxo Tinkoff team today was to try to make ground on some of my Czech room-mate Roman Kreuziger's rivals on the latter part of the stage and move him up from his 6th place overall by the finish.