British Barloworld rider Chris Froome rode a good time trial yesterday, finishing 33rd, but felt he could have gone better.
"I was just getting right into it and then I realised that I was near the finish," said Froome. "Hopefully the time trial at the end of the race will suit me better because it's a bit longer."
He admitted that five days into the race he was still coming to terms with the scale of the Tour.
"I can't believe how big and busy it is," said Froome. "The crowds are huge. I'm just trying to enjoy it."
The Kenyan-born Froome was hoping to take part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics this August. He holds a British racing licence which he got in the spring, and now races as a British rider.
When the approach was first made for Froome to ride the Olympics, Kenya blocked it. But what they didn't realised was that they hadn't qualified for a single place in either the road race or time trial.
Unfortunately, Froome's 2008 Olympic hopes have now been dashed - rules state that he can't compete in Olympics within three years of switching nationalities if Kenya won't release him. His name was missing from the British Olympic squad announced yesterday.
British Cycling's Doug Dailey has confirmed that they simply ran out of time when it came to getting Kenya's clearance to waive the three-year rule in time for the Olympics. Froome told us that he'd tried ringing the Kenyan Cycling Federation this week to confirm his position but the line was terrible, and he couldn't get through.
By the time London 2012 comes around that won't apply, and there's plenty of time for the 23-year-old rider. There is also now nothing to stop him from riding for Great Britain in the World Championships.
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS|
Stage four: Schumacher wins TT and takes race lead
Stage three: Dumoulin wins stage from break
Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint
Stage one: Valverde wins
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: NEWS|
Tour comment: Why Evans should be happy [stage four]
Millar: Still aiming for Tour yellow jersey [stage 4]
Who is Romain Feillu?
Cavendish disappointed with stage two result
Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey
Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?
Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec
Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win
Comment: Is Valverde's win a good thing for the Tour?
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: PHOTOS|
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE|
Tour de France 2008 homepage>>
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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.
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