After I won the last meeting with Kristoff on the Champs-Élysées (photo), today’s battle went definitely to him. I must recognize that without envy. For him it was a successful revenge ;-) The Norwegians are of course absolutely motivated here at their home race, so I am happy for him. Winning at home is always something special.
From my point of view: Everything notched it up higher on the final kilometers, so that I did a bit too much and used too much strength. Plus, because of the headwind I decided to stay seated longer, which was the wrong decision. Kristoff came up from behind very fast and I had nothing left to counter him with. The guys worked great and actually had brought me into perfect position.
Now I am happy to go to bed. The day was very long. We sat on the bike for five and a half hours and because of the strong headwind were slower than the most pessimistic pace given in the time plan. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t difficult ;-)
I am totally satisfied with my post-Tour form. Yesterday my legs felt good. I was dropped in a descent, when we zipped through a tunnel at 100 km/H. I held my distance there, as I didn’t feel entirely comfortable. It wasn’t particularly well let, a typical traffic tunnel in which the cars would of course always have their lights on. I don’t think it is right to send a large peloton on a wet road through a tunnel like that.
Otherwise Norway is an entirely new experience for me. The landscape is great. And instead of seeing sheep or cows in the fields along the way, here we see reindeer walking around.