Apologies for missing posts! I have been traveling with the children and it has been a bit difficult to actually speak with Rory and get the story from him. We left Carcassonne after the rest day and took the train to Paris for some holiday time before the race arrives. It’s obvious fatigue is setting in for Rory as our conversations have become shorter, but I am tired as well from traveling solo with two children.
According to Rory, the race today was brutal. The past few days have been nothing short of difficult with each team giving it everything they have before the race reaches Paris. Teams who lack a stage win are searching for opportunity while others are protecting their GC positions. Rory’s job as a domestique does not change drastically during this time, though he did ride the front a bit more in stage 18 to prepare Alex for the sprint.
Physical fatigue is one facet of the Tour, but mental fatigue is often what riders experience the most. Rory was well prepared for the physical aspects of the Tour, but the monotony of the race definitely sets in after a few weeks. Most riders report feeling this—-eating the same food, same morning routine, racing, post-race routine is identical each day, etc. It is a bit like Groundhog Day and Rory is definitely feeling that. He is excited to get home and back to real life.
Tomorrow is the TT and it is really the final day for any changes in GC. Rory and the team are excited to roll into Paris on Sunday!