Rider Diary

Rider diaries with Casper Pedersen

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Ahead of stage five at the Tour de France, Casper sat down to write his thoughts and reflect on how the opening few days of racing have gone so far…

Coming into the race I was expecting a few chaotic days in the beginning, like we had last year. There are always be highs and lows in terms of stress at the Tour, so we were expecting that. I was also really looking forward to racing with more spectators at the side of the road.

It’s really cool to see how many people turn out and cheer for us, so from that perspective its been really nice and you properly get the feeling that you’re at the Tour. 

It was maybe a little bit more hectic in the first few days than I expected though! After my crash on stage one, things are improving day-by-day. Firstly, it was my shoulder that was sore but now it’s more my back. I’m getting treatment every day to try and get that better.

After the first two days in the hills we then had two sprint stages which I was really looking forward to. Getting back into a sprint rhythm with the boys; that’s what we’ve been training hard for and focusing on.

In the first sprint I was still feeling completely blocked because of the crash and couldn’t really help the boys so much, but yesterday I felt much better and wanted to really contribute. After not being there on the first day I felt like I had let down the boys when we were at dinner in the evening, even though I knew I couldn’t do anything about it.

It was so nice to be back in there on stage four. Everyone was there and did their job on point. That feeling of going into the last part just as we planned was really nice.

It’s so easy to say in our team meetings of where we want to be and when, but when we nail it as a team and come into the corner with four guys; it’s super cool. Especially at this race, because it’s the hardest race in the world to do it in and everyone else wants to be there.

I think if we keep this up then we’ll get some good results. We have a good atmosphere in the group and are optimistic that we’ll nail it fully at least one more time here and set Cees up to go for a top result, with of course the dream scenario being the stage win after we smash the lead out.

We’re all motivated that we can do it but we’ll also stay sharp and not get too overconfident, because it can only go badly then. In the sprints here it doesn’t take much for it to go wrong, but it takes a lot and everything to be right for it to get perfectly. It’s good to be confident and have the belief in yourself, but it’s dangerous to be overconfident as you then lose a bit of respect for the task you have, and if you do that then you can easily fail.

It’s a long road to Paris but we will go all-in to keep fighting and bring home that result. Thanks for reading and all of your support! Hopefully we’ll see you out there!

Casper