We are at stage 11 and the Tour is officially halfway over. It has been a great tour thus far on many levels. The racing has been some of the most exciting ever, the time has passed quickly, the hotels have been great, my crew continues to rock, and I’ve shared lots of laughs with my driving partner Frankie Andreu on our transfers.
The Tour is all about routine. This is my fifth year doing the Tour and it is crazy how the process becomes so automatic. I was talking to Frankie about how it feels like we never left France last year. When you do the same thing every day for a month it becomes a habit, and those habits seem easier to lock into since you’ve done it in the past.
Here’s the routine we’ve gotten used to:
- We get to the hotel between 7 and 8 p.m.
- After checking into the hotel, I set to work organizing my gear for that night and the next day.
- I lay out my clothes for the next day.
- I plug in all my technology—including iPhone, Euro phone, computer, MiFi, GPS, camera battery, Flip video. I use a big powerstrip, a Euro surge protector, which can charge everything all at once.
- Then I shower quickly and go to dinner.
- I am in bed at 11 p.m. Sleep varies between six and eight hours, depending if I plan on riding in the morning.
- I get to ride about five times during the Tour so on those days it is a nice change in the morning.
- We usually eat at 9 a.m. and we leave for the start at 10. We interview at the start from 11-1 p.m.
- We drive to the finish and arrive around 3 p.m.
- I spend 30 minutes in the booth around 4 p.m.
- I head out to the finish between 5 and 6 p.m. and do the post race interviews. We leave for the hotel around 7 p.m. and the whole process starts again.
We do that for 22 days straight!
This routine’s consistency is pretty remarkable. You have to be organized, you have to be prepared and it is only when you are solid on these two fronts that you can absorb changes in the routine. When you’re in and out of hotel rooms every night the process of set up and take down becomes hyper efficient. Frankie and I have worked together for a while now so we’re able to support each other.
With this stage in the book, there are only 11 more to go. It should go by fast. Let’s hope it does!