8 Juli 2019
The Tourist, Simon Clarke's diary, Ep.2
Today’s TTT s a huge focus for the team. It’s obviously a vital part of the general classification contention and ensuring you don’t concede time to rivals. This team had lost focus on the TTT over the last few years until last year when we regained that focus, and we’ve really upped the ante since then, held our own. A lot of effort has gone into making sure the TTT is no longer a weak point. The result from today reflects the great effort the team has put in behind the scenes. We’re on the fastest equipment possible. We’ve maximized training and preparation for today.
When Charly talked about the homework we did – I think that’s how we approached the stage and the equipment we used. We did research into specific gearing and wheel and tire selection and what not. That’s the kind of homework we did to make sure we had the best chance possible to deliver a great result. I think that was evident in the result today.
In the end, the gaps were close. If you take Jumbo-Visma out of the equation, there are five teams in the space of eight seconds. That is going to be a negligible time difference when we get to Paris. We’ve ticked that box in getting through unscathed and putting in a good performance. It was a great effort by the whole team and the result showed that.
Why I came off -- The time stops on the fourth rider, so when you have eight guys, there’s no benefit to going to the finish with more than four. If any four can sacrifice themselves in the closing kilometers by pulling a longer turn, emptying the tank, knowing they don’t have to get back on, then you can really squeeze the maximum out of the team in the last final kilometers. You would have seen not only myself but Langeveld and Scully drop off in the last couple kilometers because we committed to delivering the team, knowing that the other four, five guys were going to take it to the line for us. That’s one of the techniques you can use to squeeze more seconds out of the time.