I have never before ridden up as steep a mountain as the one today. Not in training, not in competition – never. Actually I wanted to throw away my full bidon but I didn't trust myself to let go of the handlebars. I might have fallen over. We didn't go more than 5 or 6 km/h, not much faster than walking. Patrick Gretsch walked the last 200 meters to the finish and arrived in the same time as me, so we weren't much faster on the bike. We could have hiked up there. Simon Geschke, with whom I share a room, did it better. He put in an incredibly strong performance to finish second behind Contador.
Yesterday was also a hard day. I got into the bus, ate a plateful of noodles, fell asleep, had my massage in the hotel, and fell asleep again. About two hours later I woke up and went to dinner. After the 240 kilometers I was really all in. I was so exhausted that after eating I took the elevator to go up only floor. My legs felt like two cement blocks. This morning on the bike things felt better again though and all I had to do was to get through the start, arrive at the first climb and then get into the grupetto. That worked out fine.
I couldn't save a lot of strength for the last two days, it was all about sheer survival. But I feel pretty good. Of course my mood always improves when a sprint stage comes up. Tomorrow's stage should end in a sprint, if everything works out. It might be that some team will try to ride Contador out of the leader's jersey through echelons. We ride for a long time along the sea and there is always a lot of wind. We will see.