Tony Martin BLOG: We Can be Proud
I think after the first week, this team can be satisfied. Just look at the results, but also the way we are riding. We are always present in the peloton. We are always present in the actions as well. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn't, but we still won two stages. We also had several top five results. So, I think OPQS can be proud of what we've done so far.
As for me, I saw at Tour de Suisse that my condition was really good. I was just hoping I could carry this form into the Tour de France a few weeks later. I was a little scared that Tour de Suisse cost too much energy and the tank would be empty at the Tour, but I think it's the opposite that is true. Sure, I needed a few days to recover for sure, but I was fine by the time I started the Tour. I felt really good, and I still do. For sure, though, I needed the rest day.
Sunday was a fantastic victory for me. It was a very exciting day. Spending the whole day in front, feeling all the emotions from the fans and great support of Davide Bramati in the team car behind me, it was all incredible. In the last kilometers I was pretty sure I could win the stage and I could already celebrate. It was super nice and for me one of the most beautiful victories of my career.
Riding in the Polka Dot jersey, even for one day, was something special for me as I am not a climber. I think it was great for the fans. I hope it is not the last one I wear, though for sure in the future I will prefer not the polka dot shorts some teams have worn with the jersey. I liked our choice of normal team colors. As for the race, we knew it was a hard day. Even for me after the big effort of the prior day. It was raining really hard. It was a great try. At the end Michal tried something and it was a good move. I am sure it was fun to watch on television. I'm also proud that I was able to win the Most Combative Award for the second straight day. It feels good to have such a big effort honored by the Tour. Every day has been a hard day for OPQS but we will try to keep going like this, to keep trying to win stages and see what happens. With the loss of Cav maybe we are seen as a bit of an underdog. But I think we have proved we are still one of the strongest teams at this Tour de France.
I think after the rest day we will be ready for the next tests. I am definitely looking forward to the time trial also. We are still willing to try and maybe we will have some more of our actions work out in our favor. So far we've had some bad luck and some very good luck. I hope the rest of the Tour is a lot more of the good luck.