It feels great to be finished with the Critérium du Dauphiné, especially after these past four stages. The climbs were pretty crazy, especially how we raced over them.
Stage 7 was similar to Stage 6 except the break didn’t go until we were well into the first cat 1 climb, which made it smaller and GC threats made the selection. This meant the pace was on all stage. I focused on taking it one climb at a time, and I did my best to dig deep and stay with Damiano Caruso over the first three climbs.
We did so many switchbacks that I think the entire group was starting to get dizzy from the back and forth. The final kilometers were ones I had done at the 2016 TDF but had forgotten how fast and technical and how much road furniture filled the downhill approaching the base of the last climb.
We were riding good position with Damiano in the reduced group but some bonehead farther up opened a gap in one of the corners and we came into the 2-km flat before the final climb needing to close a small gap. Joey, Dylan and I poured it all out to get Damiano back in the mix. He did a great climb to lock in fifth place overall.
This race and its mountains were up and down, both literally and figuratively. Looking back at the past eight days, I’m pleased with how we raced and performed and with the final results. Personally, I was pleased to be with the best riders in the prologue, stay out of trouble in stages 2 and 3, and go into the TTT and make a significant contribution to the team’s ride.
I was happy to make some important and elite selections to support Damiano in his bid for a strong GC result. Now my legs are pretty cooked, and I’m looking forward to a few days in Girona before heading home to the USA for nationals.
📷 Getty Images / Tim De Waele