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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 22: An unbelievable Tour

It has been an unbelievable Tour. If I was in any other team I don’t think I would have made it. The chiropractor and masseurs worked on me morning and night and I’ve got them to thank as well.

It’s been hard, especially early on but I had some time before the mountains, then I got over the first one. I knew if I could get over one mountain I could get over another mountain. It’s a massive psychological thing. Don’t ask me why we keep going, you just get in the pack and go.

I really feel for Carlos [Sastre]. He didn't come up for the time trial and I know he will be disappointed not to be on the podium. He’s great guy, very down to earth, typical Spanish bloke. He’s been under a huge amount of pressure, he came here to work for Basso, and it’s meant a massive change to go from domestique and worker to contender. It’s been one of the most bizarre Tours de France I have ever raced. Teams have been afraid to take control and show their cards. You could never have written the script for what it has come down to today.

Floyd deserves this win. When he caught us the other day it was like motor pacing behind him. I was having a good day and he made me feel like an amateur. Every now and then in the mountains you feel as if you’re having a freaky day. I thought I was on one, then along came Freaky Floyd. Mate, we were doing nearly 60km/h and he just came up to us; I thought, you just don’t do that.

For sure, that was the biggest ride I have ever seen. I think it was great for the race and good for the sport.

I mean you had Indurain and then you had Armstrong, maybe this is the start of the Landis era?

I’m not up to mixing it with Robbie in the sprints so I don’t think I’ll try and win in Paris that way. But now that Carlos has lost his podium spot, I may get the chance to get in a breakaway.

It’s just been a hell of a Tour.

Stage 19 results