Luke Durbridge Tour de France column: Welcome to the party bus

'Earlier we pulled up at a service station and they didn't have any alcohol there, which was a bit of a problem'

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I’m writing this aboard the party bus following Simon Yates’s second stage win of the week.

Earlier we pulled up at a service station and they didn’t have any alcohol there, which was a bit of a problem. So we had to stop at a Buffalo Grill and ask for a stack of beers and some bottles of win, which they couldn’t quite understand.

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It was a suffer-fest for me today but it makes it all worthwhile when at 3km to go you know Simon has taken the stage.

At the back end of the race there is the race to make time cut. That’s where I am most of the time. There’s always someone on a bad day or someone who is pretty tired or something went wrong – a couple of guys that don’t want to talk. Then there’s always a another couple of guys that have chosen to be in the grupetto and they’re just tapping away chatting and pushing the pace and they are the most annoying people possible.

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Plus the sprinters like to have a game among themselves and if another rider is on a bad day they’ll push the pace a little more just to hurt them. You never really know exactly what’s going on with all these games.

It’s been up and down this last week. Adam falling out of GC contention the other day was a bit gutting . we didn’t plan for that to happen. Honestly, we know these GC guys, they are another breed and it’s something I don’t envy to be on it every single day. They are genetic freaks really, we understand we work for them and give them the opportunity and as long as they give it everything, which we know our guys do, then there’s not much more you can ask.

After that you have to reassess; we had still won two stages at that point. Our sports director Matt White gave us a big Any Given Sunday-style speech, like: “Are we going to lie down? No, hello no. What are we going to do today then?” And we all came off the bus charged up ready to go. Then we worked really hard to get Jack or Simon in the break and Simon got in there and finished off the job, such a class act.

Australian Luke Durbridge is riding the Tour de France for Mitchelton-Scott. Read his dispatches from the 2019 Tour in Cycling Weekly, on sale in newsagents and supermarkets, priced £3.25.