stage started in cold, grey and windy conditions. But after some kilometres of downhill
riding, roads were dry and it became perfect conditions. So I had nothing to
complain on for letting go with 15km to go of the stage. I was just out of
racing mood. Such things happen sometimes and I won’t say it is ok, but I am
not more than a normal human being either. There are so many things that should
work to perform well, and when head is out, there is no use for good legs.
Anyhow, last day we went up very early to start a 28km team time trial in misty condition on roads open for traffic (!). I am happy we arrived to finish in Sedan without any bigger troubles, except that we rode terrible. Our sixth place just confirms that we were obviously not alone in riding bad. The only positive thing about the ttt was that I felt quite strong myself, which made it easier to go back to hotel and look forward for the next stage the same day.
Seven kilometres in to the last stage I felt my foot started to be located a little too far to the right, and when I in the next moment looked down on my foot, the pedal was no longer connected to the crank arm. That happened in an uphill so there was no other option than to immediately step of the bike. Fortunately I had no problems getting my pedal off my cleat and start to screw it back on the bike before our mechanic Juan came and tightened it. A few kilometres later I was back in the bunch.
The stage went quite easy when the bunch kept the breakaway just a few min ahead. For me it was just a little suffering over the worst hills but I felt quite well, and when we entered the final laps in central Charleville-Mezieres I had taken the wheel of chasing team Marseille. And that wheel I kept all way in to the final km when we got squeezed in by riders who came up on both sides. For several reasons I became a little angry and pushed myself out and started to get a better position in to the last turn. I finished the stage on eighth place, just a few dm from top five. That gives me a little confidence for the coming weekend when we return to Holland.