It's been a challenging but rewarding two days in the Alps for both the team and me personally. For the team we've had Fränk and Haimar use their experience and strength of years past to fight their way back into contention for a top 10 in the general classification as well as high stage finishes in each of the last two stages. The team has ridden well in support of those efforts too. Yesterday both Markel and I were able to help them until the base of the final climb to Chamrouse at which point we set them free to do their thing. Then it was a LONG 18km to the finish for us. In today's stage we had another tough mountain pass of Col de Izoard before the descent to the final climb to Risoul. I was close to making the split on top of Izoard, but I lost contact in the last couple kilometers. I was probably 30-45 seconds in a rears and in good company with Kwiatowski and Horner though. I thought we might be able to come back on the descent or in the valley, but the group in front went mach 10 on the descent and we never were able to regain contact. Fränk and Haimar were able to take care of themselves though and had solid finishes. It's good to see them riding stronger as the race goes on because there are three very hard stages in the Pyrenees still to come next week.
For me personally, I'm happy to see myself progressing a bit. I'm feeling stronger and believe that I'm coming closer to my normal place in the peloton, especially on the climbs. Maybe I'm recovering a bit after my crashes! It's also really satisfying to be able to help Fränk and Haimar how I know I can and should be (at least part of the time!). There's lots of racing left and lots of my job to do yet, but I'm feeling confident that I can be there to help these two guys move up further in the classement. Keep checking in to see the news!