Speaking from the BMC Racing Team’s hotel, the Belvedere Strandhotel & Restaurant in Spiez, Switzerland, Brent caught us up Tuesday on how he spent the second rest day of this year’s Tour de France.
How has your rest day been going?
“It has been nice. We are in a really, really nice spot. Maybe the nicest, most picturesque spot where I have had a rest day before. We are kind of in a small town on a mountain on a lake in Switzerland if you can envision that. My wife, Jamie, was here with her bike, which was really good. We did about an hour-and-a-half of training around this lake. We kept it pretty easy. Two nights ago, I had a really rough night with some stomach issues. So I kind of did Monday’s stage on empty and was a little bit the same today. But I have since kind of stabilized. So I think things are headed back in the right direction.”
How are you feeling coming out of the second rest day – as compared to the last one – and how you are feeling about the stages still to come?
“I would say I am kind of at a similar point. At least now, we are close enough to Paris that we can see it. But we still have some of the hardest stages of the race to come. I feel I am definitely still on point and focused and excited for what is to come but not relaxed or taking anything for granted. We know our work is cut out for us these next four days.”
The Olympic Games in Rio – where you will race the time trial and the road race – are right around the corner after the Tour de France. Have you thought about that at all?
“I definitely have as I have been suffering a lot over here. It has kind of been inspiring to me to know my next race after this is going to be a lifetime goal of mine and something I have been thinking about and focusing on for a long time. That has been sort of propelling me to keep fighting here and to keep pushing, knowing I will get to recover for two weeks after this. So all of the hard work I have put in here will make me better for the Olympics.”
This is your fourth Tour de France, including the 2011 edition where you helped Cadel Evans win the race. Has there been anything radically different in this year’s race from the previous three?
“The toughest thing for me was hitting the ground on that first stage and being compromised right from the beginning. That took a lot of patience and tenacity and persistence just to get through. But from a team perspective and how we are operating and what we are pushing for is very much similar to my other Tours. We have a really awesome team here and everyone is getting along. Unfortunately, Rohan Dennis left the race and will not be with us these last few stages. But everyone else is looking good and I think Tejay van Garderen and Richie Porte are still looking strong and looking to factor into the general classification the rest of the way.”