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Aviva Tour of Britain - Un Jour Sans for Charles Planet and words from the D.S.

After the good legs of yesterday, Charles found himself enduring every racer's nightmare- Un Jour Sans; A day without; But it's not all doom & gloom in the camp as Team Novo Nordisk recorded their best result yet at the Aviva Tour of Britain with a top 10 from Spaniard Javier Mejias. We caught up with Charles briefly before he headed off to begin recuperating for Stage 3 and then got the thoughts of team DS, Pavel Cherkasov, on what a top 10 at the ToB means to a squad such as Team Novo Nordisk and how Charles and the guys deal mentally with the daily highs and lows of professional bike racing.

Image credits - AP Sports Photography

Stage 2, 7 September; Clitheroe to Colne 159.3km

Charles Planet - “My legs were tired at the beginning, which surprised me after feeling so good yesterday. Throughout the day, I was constantly fighting for position. I’d lose it and then fight my way back up and then lose it again. On the second to last climb, the front riders started to pull really hard and I let a 20 meter gap form. I tried to close the gap but I wasn’t able to catch back up. Once I knew I wasn’t going to make the front chase group, I focused on recovering and taking it easy. The grupetto formed pretty quickly so I rode in with them. It helped knowing that Javi and David were up the road. I tried to stay with them but it was just too difficult with how my legs felt and with the really narrow roads. This is one of those races where you never get to relax, which makes it difficult to stay together with your teammates. I’m a little frustrated because I felt so good yesterday and today, not so much.”

Image credits - AP Sports Photography

Team DS, Pavel Cherkasov - “For us, it is important to always keep things in perspective from where we started to where we are going. We can’t exactly compare ourselves to World Tour teams or even other pro-continental teams. For us, it is better to compare what we did at this race last year and at similar level races. Tenth place is a success for our team when we compare ourselves against a field of this caliber. A result like this shows overall growth. Last year, this race was a struggle for us and this year, I can see a real increase in the rider's confidence both how they are riding and racing.

For an athlete, racing is such a mental game. For an athlete, it can be upsetting when you know you can do better but your body doesn’t respond. I think for Charles having his teammates finish so well helps him because he knows his level is the same as theirs. Hopefully it is just a day and he’ll bounce back quickly because he knows he can ride just as well as Javi and David. This is something athletes constantly deal with and Charles is good at finding motivation and setting new objectives for the next day.. there is a lot of support between our riders. Ultimately they all want to do well and they put pressure on themselves to perform. Because of the design of this team, they all get to benefit and enjoy the successes of their teammates. Their special bond allows for a success for one to be a success for all. Even out of the race, you can see what they have is special and different from just basic teammates.”

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About the Rider: Tim
Tim Bladon lives in Nottingham. He strongly suspects his chances of a solo victory in Il Lombardia are starting to fade and so seeks to distract people from this fact by writing about cycling instead. Tim has his own blog, Ciclissimo!
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