8 Jul 2018

The TOURist, Simon Clarke's diary. Ep. 1

"It was great to get underway today obviously there’s a lot of hype and build-up before the Tour de France, so getting things underway is always a bit of a relief. It was generally a really nice stage today. Obviously it was super unfortunate for Lawson, having an incident in the feed zone, but it just highlights how even the most straightforward days can be dangerous and how hitting only one little thing on the road can turn things on it’s head. I’m so gutted for Lawson."

 

"We did all the preparation together for this Tour d France, all the altitude training together. Not only am I rooming with him here at the Tour but we’ve been living and training together for the last month or so. To have this happen to him, I really felt bad for him. I dropped back to give him some word of motivation and support. I encouraged him to get to the finish, cross the finish line and then we could assess after that, figure out how bad the damage is.

 

Obviously he hit his head and had some blood coming from his face, which made it look more dramatic. I reassured him that he was ok to get to the finish, that he needed to stay safe and that he could stick it out.


Obviously he was quite down considering all the hard work he put in and for it to suddenly happen like this on the first day is super depressing. I gave him words of support and tried to give him motivation, keep him positive. It worked well to get him to the finish.

In the  final, these easy days are a nightmare when it comes to the final as everyone is quite fresh, particularly on the first days. You see a lot of people taking risks to be at the front. I was aware that would be an issue today. The boys really worked well together to keep Rigo covered, not only covered but riding in a safe position, in a safe way. Quite a lot of those crashes happened right in front of us but because of the way we were riding as a unit, we were able to avoid all of them and keep Rigo in the front. Hats off to all the boys for great commitment and solid execution. The result today is really a win for the team, seeing the guys that got caught up and got left behind."

SIMON