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Stage 13: Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse, 197km
CHAMROUSSE: I am not going to sit here and brush off the fact my time and position loss on Friday’s 13th stage of the Tour de France was disappointing. Sure it was …
But you know what? Yes … I had a bad day … and yes, I had one last year too.
What I can also tell you is that I am not going to lose my head and throw all my preparation and training away by going out to eat a kilo of Toblerone chocolate.
I am going to pretend like Thursday didn’t happen. I’m going to keep keeping on.
And as the old cliche goes … The sun will rise tomorrow.
Of course, it’s important to look back at Friday and then try and assess what actually did go wrong that led to a result that, make no bones about it, was disappointing.
I had a bout of heat stroke, but we rode a good position on the stage in the bunch. I drank and ate as much as I needed to. I just had a bad day.
The team has also been absolutely brilliant. I am not going to give up. Whatever I do now, I will be right behind the team strategy, whether it is for me or to perhaps allow someone else to have a chance. It’s only fair that others in the team get a chance.
So the plan for me is to keep going. Let’s see what happens.
Some may wonder – or even suggest – the result means I should sit up and just go with the laughing group [or main group not in contention for the stage] and then lose more time in readiness for an opportunity to try and win a stage next week in the Pyrenees.
But while we are still to sit down and talk after all that happened on Friday, I would like to think I will just try and go with the momentum of the race on Saturday and thereafter.
I am still in good form. Good form doesn’t disappear in one day.
So who knows. Also, in the last week there are plenty of opportunities to try and win.
Too bad that was out of the spectrum of possibility on Friday in the Alps when I just found I couldn’t follow on the last climb over 18km to the finish in Chamrousse.
I can only be thankful to Mikel Nieve and Geraint Thomas who helped me over those last kilometres to the finish where all I said to them as we slowly made our way up was: “slow down”.
I felt for them, especially Mikel who is the sort of guy who could have been up on that climb for the stage. You have to appreciate guys sacrificing their race for you.
In the team bus afterwards, Sky team principal David Brailsford was quick to talk to all of us. He got us going by saying we had to take the race on to still make this a successful Tour.
That should be really encouraging for those fans who will be lining the route.
The crowds have been great, especially the huge number of Australian fans in those crowds.
Your may not know it if you are one of them out there, but your cheers do impact us.
Of course, we hear the negative stuff, but don’t underestimate the positive stuff too.
It all kept me going as I slowly made my way up to the finish line at Chamrousse.
And I've no doubt that your cheers will keep me going over the next week to the finish in Paris.
Richie Porte is a rider for Team Sky