Dhe diary of Jonasrutsch from the Tour de France is regularly updated here. His reports are recorded by Alex Westhoff.
Tag 1: The anticipation of my second Tour de France has steadily built up. On Wednesday evening at the team presentation here in Copenhagen, I realized again how big and important this race is. The Danish fans created a great atmosphere, I’ve never experienced anything like it – it was just a matter of recharging your batteries and soaking up the atmosphere.
Riding the tour was always my dream goal, and there’s no routine whatsoever on my second participation. I realize that I’ve had everything that pours into you before a tour. I no longer look around with wide eyes. But of course it doesn’t leave me cold. But I try to keep all these emotions that are connected to it and that work in the back of my head small.
Because starting this Friday, it’s all about riding a bike fast. Riding a bike fast for three weeks. And all emotions that you invest now also mean a loss of energy. And you should keep that as low as possible before 3354 rock-hard kilometers of racetrack, spread over 21 stages in Denmark and France. It certainly makes sense to imagine that the Tour is a race like any other. Even if you are reminded at every turn that it is not so.
It has been reassuring for me to know over the past few weeks: If I stay healthy, I’ll go to the tour. In terms of personal goals for the next three weeks, I would like to keep a low profile and see how I get in and how things go. It’s going to be a very hectic first week, that’s for sure. Because the tour is the tour and you cycle there as usual on the tour: everyone wants to present themselves from their best and strongest side. This increases the likelihood of (mass) falls, regardless of whether the roads are narrow, we’re driving on cobblestones or the wind is blowing.
As the EF Education-EasyPost team, our primary goal is to go for stage wins. But of course we also want to protect our man for the classification, Rigoberto Urán, as best we can. We have a powerful team at the start for this. I’m not even thinking about the south, about Alpe d’Huez and Galibier and so on. First of all, I have a job to do here in the north.
Anyway, my shape is good, my legs feel great. At the German championship last weekend in the Sauerland region, I was already getting going. Fourth place in the mountainous time trial was absolutely fine. And the road race also went well, I was able to rev my engine again. That was perfectly fine, although as expected I couldn’t defy the superiority of the Bora-hansgrohe team on my own.
Before that I was in Switzerland at the Tour de Suisse. The second stage gave a good indication of my good condition, in which I fought for victory in the leading group for a long time. It wasn’t until the last hill that I was no longer able to follow an attack – then just before the finish I was caught up by the field. The whole tour was a very successful test.
Only at the Tour de Suisse the Corona issue hit the peloton again and entire teams left. When I went down to the team hotel for breakfast one morning, I was sitting alone at the table with my colleague Neilson Powless. The rest had said goodbye due to the corona. In the end, however, he still managed to defend his fourth place in the classification. Which of course means a lot of work for me, as I had to replace five drivers.