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The Stuart O'Grady diary

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Stuart O'Grady

During the Tour de France CSC speedster Stuart O'Grady will be giving us a regular 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, and one of CSC's best hopes for a stage win or even the green points jersey.

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.

Index to all entries

July 5: A painful start

Stuart O'Grady (CSC)
Photo ©: Elmar Krings
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Not the way to start a day on Le Tour. The legs were cold and everything was locked up and tight. At the start I felt really bad, you know, but I thought I would just give it my best.

After yesterday's crash I didn't know what was going to happen. I wasn't too optimistic. The pain I went through last night was pretty intense, but it was more from actual muscle contractions caused from hitting the ground so hard. The chiropractor worked on it last night and this morning. Lucky the stage was pretty flat and they started steady. I said to the team that I would just try and get over the first hill and see how it went.

I managed to get over that and make it through the day.

That is definitely one of the toughest days of torture I have been through. As they say in the classics, I guess I’ll just have to take it day by day. Each day done is another one down.