The last big hit out before the Tour de France
I’m back in Spain after a great Dauphine. It was the first time I did the race and I found it quite different to Tour de Suisse, which I did last year. The French guys are very aggressive because it’s obviously an important race for them as it’s the last chance for them to impress their teams to make the selection for the Tour de France. The roads are also a lot smaller than Switzerland and more of what we’ll experience at the Tour so it was a good experience for me to do the race. The course is also harder than Suisse and a lot of climbers went to the race which made the racing hard.
We made the most of going to France and checked out a stage of the Tour before the Dauphine started and the day after it finished so it worked out well for me going to the race. I also wanted to do the Dauphine because you have a little more recovery time before the Tour starts and if there’s still some areas you need to sharpen up, you have time to do that.
My best result in the race was fourth on stage 5. It was a stage I thought I would target from the beginning of the race. It was such a hard start to the stage and a lot of guys fancied the breakaway’s chances. I was in the right place at the right time and decided to commit to the stage. I probably should have extended myself a bit more and followed Spilak on the climb but I thought it was still 20km’s to go and we had time to catch him but we all ran out of steam in the end.
My teammate Adam Yates was trying to ride a good top ten on GC and tried to grab some time coming into the finish and managed to get a few seconds. Once the win had gone, there was no point me trying to get a second or a third, we rather tried to get Yatesy up there to gain some time which was good for him for the general classification. He is an incredible rider for such a young age.
Overall, I think my season has been solid so far. Coming from a good start Down Under where I went better than I expected, I’ve been getting some nice results along the way even though I haven’t got any major wins yet. I think I am above a level I was at last year and I am happy to be getting closer to another win in WorldTour races. The team has been doing a lot of work for the coming month and along with winning in Bayern Rundfahrt, it’s given me a lot of confidence for what’s to come in July. Having a solid Dauphine has reassured me that things are on track. It’s going to be hard to top a Tour de France like last year but we have to go there trying and you can bet we will be giving it our best shot.