My second piece for cyclingnews.com is now online. I wanted to take a look at what happens when the riders cross the line because if the race is over for the day, the work is not done. In particular, riders can face a long drive to get to their hotel and the stop for the night varies, it might be luxury but more often than not it’s a chain hotel.
As I type some riders will be kicking back in their luxury hotel, getting psyched for the team time trial. The image up above is of Quick Step’s hotel during the opening weekend. By contrast, the picture below is where Rabobank and Cofidis have been staying, the Kyriad in La Roche sur Yon. Perhaps the chateau doesn’t look like hotel but it certainly gives the impression of a pleasant place to visit. But the Kyriad, well it’s not exactly going to feature on local postcards is it?
There’s an egalitarian touch to the sport here, millionaires staying in hotels that charge €42 a night. But the main issue is that rest and recovery are all important in a three week race. A lousy night’s sleep on the eve of a big stage is a real problem. Comfort is one of those marginal factors that help to keep a rider’s morale going and over three weeks it can affect the recovery powers too.