Mathew Hayman: “We’re only human”
How do riders manage a rest day? In a range of ways… and sometimes they even rest. Mathew Hayman explains…
There was a precedent set on the first rest day of the 2017 Tour de France: Mathew Hayman didn’t touch his bike. Nope, not at all. What he did instead was… get this: rest.
Seems logical it’s not that common for riders to take advantage of the day away from the race and ignore the compulsion to ride.
When you’re tired, however, you’re tired – and Hayman listened to his body.
He spoke to RIDE before the start of the 10th stage.
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Simon Yates sits in seventh overall and leads the youth classification after nine stages at the 2017 Tour.
Photo: Leon van Bon
RIDE: I finally bumped into Mathew Hayman… are rest days difficult ones to manage…?
Mathew Hayman: “Oh, yesterday – for the first time in my career – I just didn’t ride my bike. I’d had enough.
“It was a really rough stage nine.
“I hope people can appreciate what it’s like for someone of 80 kilos to get over those climbs. It was a really tough day for me and I’ve been a little bit sick. I’m getting better but yesterday I just lay in bed all day and enjoyed the hell out of it.”
Didn’t see family or anything like that?
“No, they’re at home. Maybe in Paris – let’s hope we get there and I’ll see them then.”
Today, what’s the plan? Any strategy? Any interesting manoeuvres? Or it’s now just all about Simon [Yates] now?
“Yeah, we’ve got the white jersey and it was one of the goals coming into this race.
“It was an awesome, awesome ride by him on Sunday and he’s in a fairly strong position in that jersey (2’17” ahead of Tiesj Benoot of Lotto-Soudal) now and we’ll defend that.
“But we’ve still got some opportunities but today [stage 10] is probably not one of them.”
I guess there’s not a lot of anticipation around this stage. It seems fairly rudimentary…
“Yeah, that’s fine for me. I’ve just had a hard stage nine and a rest day. And I’m pretty happy with today’s stage.
“Look, it’s the Tour de France; I’m sure things will happen today. I’m sure there’ll be something to talk about tonight. And I’m sure that, coming into that final, everybody will want to win the stage.
“Maybe there’ll be a couple of hours that might not be the best for television viewing but let’s not forget we all climb on the bike every day; we did close to 1,500km last week and we’re only human… so that’s bike racing. It’s one three-week long tactical race.”