19 Jul 2019

The Tourist, Simon Clarke's diary, Ep.10

This is my fifth Tour de France and the first time I’ve been able to get into the breakaway on my birthday. I try every year. Normally it comes in the third week, and it’s a terrible mountain stage and always pretty hard to pick the right move. It all worked out for me today, so I figured I’d make the most of it. 

With quality of climbers in that breakaway, I knew I was never going to be able to hold Simon Yates on a 12 kilometer climb. Maybe it was questionable to go so early, I mean, with myself and Bettiol in the group, there was no use of us both of sitting back and getting smashed by the climbers. One of us had to gamble, and I know quite well the desent off Peyresourde. It’s a nice, fast, straight one. If you know the corners, you can gain some good time, so I thought I’d have a crack. The wind wasn’t ideal, but you never know if you never try.

 
I was surprised to be able to get as much time as I did. I wasn’t expecting to put in a minute to the guys behind. I rode my rhythm up Hourquette d’Ancizan and held on as long as I could. I knew it was inevitable that they would catch me. Like you saw, I got caught by a good group and we rode ourselves back into the race. At least I was still in the race.
 
No regrets
 
We have a really strong team here. We had one bad day. Sure we lost some time but a minute-and-a-half is going to be insignificant in Paris. The win is going to be hard but I don’t think a podium place is out of the question. 

SIMON