Two Day Theory. It is a very fortunate thing that the situation that Garmin-Transitions is in during this Tour is a first time for all of us involved. The fortune I speak of is partly that we’ve never had to deal with nigh on half of our team all being pretty badly wounded on the one descent, and partly that the fretting resulting from this would leave us, the staff, nervous wrecks.
I have made up a totally anecdotal “two day” theory regarding peoples’ responses to injury and trauma. It’s completely without scientific evidence or backing, but does explain a pattern of behaviour that I have regularly seen over the years.
My theory holds that on the day of the trauma, the shock and adrenaline take you to the finish line. The first day afterwards sees high pain levels at the spots that you’ve traumatised, but elsewhere you have bearable amounts of pain. On the second day after the injury however, things start to really stiffen up, but the trauma itself hasn’t really healed, so you’re dealing with both stiffening and trauma, and you just feel rubbish. This is all anecdotal, mind, but is a bit of a pattern that I’ve seen emerge.
Add Roubaix cobbles on day one of the Two Day Theory, and I’m sure you can imagine how beaten up the boys felt this morning! Getting on the bike at all was a feat for some of the boys. And then things slowly improved.
The break of the day snuck away with barely a whimper from the peloton — a good sign that there were a lot of sorry lads following the enormity of the previous two days of racing. Things were tranquil throughout the day, and slowly the sprinter teams got themselves organised to bring the break back in, and set up for a bunch sprint finish.
I must admit at this point to being “Charlie non-believer” in that I was more interested in the boys not crashing than I was in them getting any results. It’s an aspect of the job that the med team always deal with. “How’d you go?” or “How was it today?” is more about “Did you have much pain? Were you the same, better or worse than yesterday?” than it is about how good were you at whatever your discipline happens to be.
And so with heart in mouth (considering the nine roundabouts in the final 5.5km) I watched the boys shoot for the line. And then they hit out well, duking it out with the best sprinters in the peloton. Jules pulled off a second and Robby fifth. This was a fantastic result that continues the Garmin-Transitions run of top-class performances when on the bike, regardless of the pain and problems that may have struck prior to this.
Absolute class from all of the boys today, long may it continue.