First, a correction to my previous post. Our stagiare Jesse Sergent was Best Young Rider for the TT of stage 5 and unfortunately not on the GC. Sorry for the confusion; nonetheless, a great ride on stage 5 and for the whole tour for this young talent.
Second, thanks to everyone for the comments and support.
Third, it was a very wet, fast final stage. There was rain in the area, but it did not in fact start raining until maybe 15 minutes into the stage. That made things quite interesting, but thankfully we were on big roads nearly the whole day, so the sketchiness was minimized. Also, there were a lot of tired legs in the field, so many of those guys who were always buzzing around the front, trying to fight for your spot, were content to sit in the field where they were: a nice change.
After the typical fast start, a break went away and everyone thought that was it, but then a Danish team went to the front and drilled it because a guy in the breakaway was dangerous to them; I think anyway. To be honest, I am not really sure. All I know is that the break was brought back quickly, then it was game on for another break, which went, but again was dangerous, then we entered the local circuits and a break of 3 guys went away and Hayden Roulston from HTC won out of that break... thankfully.
Long story short, it was fast all day, which was actually kind of nice, although it did provide for some ugly sensations in the legs. Also, thanks to Hayden for winning because Matti Breschal won the field sprint for second and if he had won the stage outright, I think he would have jumped over me for third on the podium because of the 10 second win bonus. For me though, I am happy that didn't happen because I landed on my first European podium and it felt great. It is funny though how people ask you how it feels and there are not words to describe it; sort of like when people asked me how I felt about signing with RadioShack. Anyway, I am happy about it and hope it is just the beginning of better riding for me. I have to say the team was great all week in making efforts to race hard and have success. It was unfortunate we were unable to capture a stage win and that Taylor was unable to finish the race because of his stage 1 crash, but everyone was strong and helpful. Jesse and Clinton were incredibly strong for their first time on this level and they have big futures for sure along with Taylor despite his DNF. Thanks again and have a great day!