After a few weeks of rest and with the classics being over after my Paris-Roubaix win, I was really happy to start racing again.
The AMGEN Tour of California was a beautiful race, but a very tough one! With this heat, which was almost unbearable, that made this race extra hard.
We had a great opening stage with the win of Mark Cavendish. Helping Mark try to win stages was what we were there for. So the atmosphere in the team was really great from day one and this made it extra fun to be here.
I love coming to California on vacation, but I must say at this moment I'd rather come here on vacation than to ride a race in this heat. ;-) At moments I looked at my Garmin and saw the temperatures rising up to 47 degrees Celsius! The other day we cooled off by swimming in the Pacific Ocean. That was fun, and definitely did the job!
Of course there were moments I enjoyed the race. For example, definitely the stage where we rode all the way on Highway 1. That was really beautiful! What a breathtaking coastline that is!
We came here with one goal, the sprint for Mark. So I think this worked out well with two stage wins out of the only sprints that were possible.
Only the second last day was not so good, but we made up for this on Sunday with the win in the last stage. It was also my birthday, so that made it extra special this win! I even went into the breakaway.
But when I came back, I did everything in support of Mark, as did the rest of the team. To fight and bring him back, go full gas to set him up for the sprint, and see him finish off all the hard work of the team once again, it really ended Tour of California on the best note possible.
So, farewell beautiful California. Back to cooler temperatures, but I will certainly miss the views!
EMBEDDED PHOTO © Tim De Waele