The Tour de Suisse was my final race before the Tour de France. It didn’t really go to plan though…
We started ok with a prologue and 3 up and down stages. I felt ok during these stages but the main challenge was the weather as it rained for each stage. The weather didn’t really effect me too much; being from Wales I’m used to the rain! However each morning when you open up the curtains and it’s raining outside again, you do begin to wonder where its all coming from! The main challenge when racing in the rain is the stress in the bunch. Obviously everybody wants to be at the front where there’s less chance of crashes and you constantly feel the pressure to get there and get comfortable. The only bonus was that it didn’t rain on the final TT.
From a physical point of view I didn’t feel 100%, I was there or there abouts for most of the week and I was still in the top 10 going into the final stage. However this stage is were it all fell away for me. The stage was cut short and was basically up and down a big mountain. I was dropped around halfway up,
so by the time I was at the top I was already 4 minutes down on time and out of the top 10. So with the Tour de France in mind I stopped on the side of the road to get some kit on. I needed help from the swanny to get my gloves on, as I couldn’t feel my fingers it was so cold! I ended up stopping again to put on some more warm kit and by the time I got to the finish I was over 10 minutes down and pretty disappointed with the day and week as a whole.
I spoke a lot to my coach and the nutritionist afterwards and learnt a few lessons. Prior to the race I’d had a big block of training and also was pushing the diet a lot, maybe a bit too much. I really wanted to do well in Suisse and also in the Tour and got a bit carried away. I over did it to a point and so went into the race a bit under fuelled and not fully rested. It was a good lesson to learn. After Suisse has all been about trying to freshen and fuel up before the Tour. It will be my 7th Tour de France and I’m as excited as ever! It’s going to be a big July ahead. Hopefully we can go back and win another yellow jersey with Chris Froome. Anything else would be a bonus