Daily diary - Stage 2: York to Sheffield - 201km
Sheffield: It was like deja vu when I crashed early in Sunday’s second stage of the Tour de France from York to Sheffield.
As I stood by the road and waited for mechanical service, I feared a repeat of last year when - after missing the early split on stage nine in last year’s Tour - the group rode away and I lost vital early time overall.
On Sunday, after hitting the deck on the approach to the second category Holme Moss climb as the race pace ramped up.
I thought, "Here we go again." The incident also reminded how one second all can be fine on the Tour and the next it isn’t.
Because it was so quick, it’s hard to remember all the detail of Saturday’s crash, other than that I crashed with Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) and he snapped his new bike.
It’s a difficult time when such a crash occurs, even if they are inevitable in a race.
As short as I am, I can never really see what’s in front of me. It gets a little scary at times and adds to the stress. But generally, I prefer to ride to the side of the peloton.
Sometimes, and no matter where you are in the bunch, there's no escape from a crash.
In this instance, I said sorry to Roche, but before it happened I got a thump from someone behind me that might have had an effect. Still I’m happy Nicolas is OK.
Considering how fast I was cycling then, I was lucky to have sustained a limited amount of damage in the crash.
You may have noticed that it took a while for me to be back up and chasing the bunch to get back on.
The mechanic was already nearby and quick to be there, but I knew my bike would not be going anywhere with me on it, so he radioed to the team car saying I’d need a new bike.
I have to say, getting back on went well. The team was great. Danny Pate came back to help me and Bernie Eisel was there too. It was a crappy time to crash, but once I got on to Holme Moss I was confident I would be able to ride myself back on.
It still took a bit out of me to get back on though. It was a hard stage with 10 climbs and everyone knew it would be. And it certainly lived up to everyone’s expectations.
I did rejoin the peloton too. And despite Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) winning the stage to take the overall leader’s jersey in the finale being an impressive result, it was an aggressive day that saw all the big hitters go in punching,
I know that I am ready. I also know my form is ticking along nicely now.
If my form is to ever be at its peak, for me there is no better time for it than now.
OVERALL STANDINGS (after Stage 2)
1. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 9hr52min43sec
2. Peter Sagan (SVK/CAN) 2
3. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) same time
4. Michael Albasini (SUI/OGE) s.t.
5. Chris Froome (ENG/SKY) s.t.
6. Bauke Mollema (NED/BEL) s.t.
7. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) s.t.
8. Alberto Contador (ESP/TCS) s.t.
9. Tejay van Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t.
10. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) s.t.
11. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) s.t.
12. Tiago Machado (POR/TNE) s.t.
13. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) s.t.
14. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) s.t.
15. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TFR) s.t.
16. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) s.t.
Richie Porte is a member of Sky Team competing in the Tour de France.