I can't say that I enjoyed today's fifth stage very much. You're probably expecting me to say that the cobblestones were horrible, but I actually suffered the most from the weather and the normal roads. All day was rain and cold. I was cold from the start of the stage and never warmed up. Even when I was fighting to try and help my team (which I never did!) I was cold. And when I wasn't trying to get to the front and help, I was crashing, 3 times! The first one I was directly behind Chris Froome when he got his wheels in a crack in the road that immediately sent him sliding and his bike skidding down the road in front of me. In trying to avoid it I was sent into a pole or something that was thankfully padded. That sent me catapulting from my bike and thankfully only to the ground and not into anything else. I remounted and chased for awhile by myself but was quickly losing ground on the roaring peloton. Luckily Froome's team came back to help him and I was able to hop on that train. I reintegrated the peloton and was slowly battling my way toward the front when Greipel slid out a little ways in front of me. I nearly avoided it, but as I steered to avoid it I got my rear wheel hooked on a lip in the pavement and it sent me sliding. And lastly as I was chasing in a small group, a rider from FDJ led us into a roundabout and went sliding with me on his wheel. I nearly avoided it, but I too ultimately suffered the same fate. Three crashes complete and I was never going to make it back to the field with only 10km to the first cobble section. The rest of the day I just survived. The cobbles honestly weren't that bad! Maybe racing full gas on them would make it worse, but I didn't feel horribly uncomfortable. (I'm not saying I have any interest in Paris Roubaix though!) All things considered, this was a day I want to forget, but I'm certain I will be feeling reminders of it for next couple days. It's time for me to rest a bit. Good night.
|Some of the battle wounds...|