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S&M - The Stuart O'Grady & Matt White diary
During the Tour de France Cofidis team-mates Stuart O'Grady and Matt White will be taking turns to give us an inside look at the daily goings-on in the peloton and the team hotel. An Olympic gold medalist on the track, O'Grady is a rider to watch in the sprints and long breakaways, while White is an experienced grand tour rider who has been kept out of the Tour de France by a run of lousy luck that's finally ended this year.
O'Grady has had a rollercoaster ride at the last few Tours, wearing the yellow jersey in 2001 and green in 2002, but never quite managing to hang on to green all the way to Paris. In the last couple of years he's shifted his emphasis away from sprint speed and remodelled himself as a Classics and long breakaway expert.
White is finally riding the Tour after breaking his collarbone just before the start of last year's Tour. In 2001 he was expected to ride the Tour but did not make his US Postal's final selection and in 1999 his Vini Caldirola team had its Tour invitation withdrawn when Sergei Gontchar failed a haematocrit test at the Tour of Switzerland. After that, he's due some good luck in 2005!
July 14, 2005: A great day
By Stuart O'Grady
It was a great day for Dave Moncoutié and for the team. It worked perfectly - mission accomplished. I said to Dave I will attack at the bottom of the climb, and they will obviously be chasing me, so as soon as I get caught, you counter attack. It's not often that when you say something that it comes off but today it did. Of course the whole team is going nuts with the first French win and on Bastille Day. I can hear the champagne corks being popped now.
Dave was pretty motivated this morning. I knew it was going to be hard day and my objective is to win a stage and any bonuses will be good for me.
Every one is asking about the green jersey since Tom had to stop. Well, obviously I feel sorry for Tom - he must be going through a lot of pain. It must be pretty hard for him. No one pulls out of the Tour de France for no reason, especially when they're wearing the green jersey.
But the Tour de France is a long three week adventure and anything can happen. You have got to go out there and be aggressive and try and make things happen and that's what we did today. Thor Hushovd is going to be hard to beat for the green. He has had a hard couple of days but he went really well today.
Still my first objective is to win a stage and then be in the green by the Champs Elysées.
July 13, 2005: You can count on Vino
By Matt White
Big day. Two huge Hors Categorie climbs plus the Telegraphe, Cat 1, 60 odd kilometres of climbing. The Telegraphe and Galibier together are really one climb. There may be a short descent in between but there is 40 km of climbing altogether. That's tough on everybody.
Stuey and I got ourselves in the right bus and we managed to conserve a bit of energy. We weren't under too much pressure as we were always well inside the time limit. It's good when you get yourself in the front bus because you know you've always got a seat reserved in the following one if required.
Vinokourov and Botero rode strongly and it must have been a pretty special effort to hold off the charging Discovery squad. You can always count on Vino to make an interesting bike race. If he's got something in the tank, he will definitely have a go.
Today will be a different story. Although there's not big climbs, it's a stage more suited to our team, and especially for Stuey. I'm sure I'll be spending a lot more time in the red zone.
2005 entries - the Tour de France
Previous Cyclingnews interviews with Stuart O'Grady & Matt White