The Tour of Romandie didn’t quite go to plan for myself or the team recently. I was struggling with fatigue after pushing hard in the first part of the season and so felt tired and not as good as I have done previously this year.
The weather at the race didn’t help a lot either! When we arrived to the team hotel, it was snowing and also settling on the road. Luckily we could still race but it was certainly the coldest week of racing this year. We started with a 4km prologue, with a few snow flakes falling around. It was a good start to the race with Kwaito and myself 3rd and 4th respectively on GC.
Unfortunately it was all downhill from here for myself and I slowly dropped out of GC contention. Froomey also had some bad luck on the first mountain stage when he punctured on the penultimate climb. The race was really heating up at this point so there were a lot of riders dropped and groups everywhere. This meant our team car wasn’t behind the front group as they were stuck behind dropped riders, so Mikel Nieve stopped and gave Froomey his front wheel. As the pace was so high they couldn’t get back, which meant I was the only guy left in the front group. I tried to get a result for the team but I cracked 5km to go and lost about 50sec to the winner Nairo Quintana.
The rest of the race was about getting what we could from it. Froomey won stage 4 with a really impressive ride which was great to see. On the final stage we tried to set up our sprinter Ben Swift for the final but unfortunately there was a big crash which he got caught up in. Luckily he wasn’t too badly injured, with no fractures or breaks. That’s classed as a ‘lucky crash’ for Ben, as he’s had a lot of injuries and operations following crashes so we were glad it wasn’t too serious.
After Romandie I had a mini break. A week off, to do what I want, ride my bike a bit but with no structure or stress. A little break mid season helps me to freshen up mentally as much as physically before another big block. It’s a chance to spend some quality time with my wife and enjoy a few drinks and meals out.
Next up is another 2 week training camp up in Tenerife, followed by Tour de Swiss, potentially National TT Championships and hopefully the Tour. I’m definitely going to enjoy a steak and an ice cream while I can!