I woke up this morning and thought I wouldn’t go in the breakaway again, I was feeling yesterday’s effort. But after a hard first 50 kilometres, my legs got into it and I felt okay. Then I felt the right moment to go and we went away.
I didn’t expect it at all. To be honest, I was fearful of this stage because of the climbs. Normally, you don’t have a chance with three riders against the bunch. But I knew Dowsett was a strong time-triallist and had the chance to win the race. When we got there, I spoke with him and Stewart, and Dowsett said ‘it’s going to be a TTT for three, four hours, let’s all give everything’.
You can feel when you’re in the breakaway how strong your companions are, and Dowsett was nailing it at 50km/h. My position is very low on the bike. We did some wind tunnel tests with the teams and I found out I can get really aero and still save power.
I’ve been on a lot of breakaways before and often been caught. But when it was nine minutes with 70km to go, I was already thinking of the possibility of winning.
I’m from Austria, the centre of Europe, close to Germany and Switzerland. Outside of cycling, my passion is motorbikes. I put a route into my GPS, head to the gas station with some friends and out onto the roads. It’s a lot easier than having to pedal up them.
We chose to come to the Tour of Britain instead of the Vuelta because it suited me better. Everyone told me it was one of the hardest races on the calendar with heavy roads and bad weather. Well, it’s one of my favourites now: good hotels and roads, nice weather, every day is summer. Two wins in two days is more than I ever expected.
I’m a breakaway specialist: I have a strong engine, though in the future we’ll see what I develop into. There was one Tour of Romandie where I was in the break five times in six stages.
As for getting in tomorrow’s breakaway? I don’t think so. But I thought that this morning as well, so we’ll see how the legs are…
IAM Cycling’s Matthias Brändle was talking to Rouleur’s Andy McGrath.