Solid block of racing in France
That's my first Paris-Nice done and dusted. I went into the race slightly ill and I was really happy that we "eased" into the first couple days, let's just say I was quite lucky they were flat stages and if it had been a hard stage early on I may have not finished . It's good to get a hard stage race like Paris Nice in the legs.
During the prologue of Paris Nice
I got better each day and on Stage 3 we absolutely nailed our lead-out for Michael Matthews and he won pretty convincingly and we took over the race lead , what a bonus. Although we knew that stage 4 didn't suit us to retain the jersey we felt it was only right to defend the yellow jersey with Mitch and Christian doing the brunt of the work. Unfortunately, we lost the lead but we expected that and it wasn't through lack of trying either.
Our next goal was really to support Michael in his quest for the green points jersey , getting 3rd on stage 5 increasing his lead. He pretty much secured his jersey that day and from then on it was basically getting through the last 2 days for me and most of the guys in the team .
Stage 6 was just plain nasty from attacking on the downhills to freezing cold in the rain. I was actually in front group until it split on the downhill but I guess that's racing , there's no room for holding back at World Tour level . Anyway I just soldiered on with Albasini to the end , even stopped at 35km to go to change some kit and get dry again before a fast descent to the finish in Nice. It's madness how cold it can get when it rains , I remember Michael using the cars exhaust to heat up his hands because he couldn't extend his fingers to get his gloves on.The TV just doesn't do bike racing any justice sometimes , it definitely felt like a job at that point haha.
Tony Gallopin keeps getting better every year and rode a great race and it was a gutsy move by him to win stage 6. Not many guys had a answer for Sky's dominance. I still think the strongest guy won and deserved it so congrats to Richie Porte on the win and then my mate Geraint Thomas , great ride from him too. Our man Michael Matthews won the points jersey and is definitely a man to watch next week in Milan San Remo . I'll be there to support him and hopefully we can open our classics campaign with a win .
I'll be using this week to make sure I'm healthy and 100% for the weekend, it's 300km long race so I need to be ready if I want to make an impact next weekend .