Q&A With Brett Lancaster on Volta Catalunya Stage 2

Wed 20 Mar 2013

It was another successful day for ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Volta a Catalunya. Christian Meier once again put himself into the day’s break to successfully defend his points and TDF 100 sprint jerseys. Back in the bunch, Brett Lancaster saved energy for the projected field sprint. When Christian’s move was brought back, the team readied for the sprint and ultimately delivered Brett to third. Brett fields answers to your questions in the stage two Catalunya write-up.

Q: Yesterday, Christian reviewed the various ways that he could keep the sprint jersey. Why did the team ultimately decide that sending him up the road was the best option today?

I’m not sure the team sent him up the road. I think he raised his hand for that. Christian is mentally tough. He went deep yesterday with such a long ride out front, and then he went out there today and did it again. Credit to him for going out there and getting those points. He’s won all the intermediate sprints so far, so we’ll just need to pick up a few points here or there for him to keep it. If he manages to get in one more breakaway, he’ll take out that jersey for sure.

Q: While Christian was up the road, what were you doing?

I was sitting in and having a laugh, enjoying some coffee, and having a good chat about life with the rest of the peloton.

Oh - you want a serious answer? We were saving energy in case it came back to a sprint so that we could give the finish a really good nudge.

Q: As a Gerona local, how well do you know these roads?

I know them very well. I know every kilometre of raced we raced on today. We definitely enjoyed a bit of home town advantage.

Q: Some people seem a bit surprised to see  you up for the sprints, why has this been your role in Catalunya?

Coming into the race, I wasn’t expecting to sprint for the team. Michael Matthews had a bit of an accident with hot tea the weekend before the race. He burnt himself badly, and he couldn’t start. Allan [Davis] is quite sick, so even finishing each day of racing has been hard for him. It’s a rare situation that’s given me the opportunity to sprint yesterday and today.

Today went better than stage one. Yesterday, Simon Gerrans kept me up near the front over the climb towards the finish. Although we were close the front, we weren't on the front, and we saw 12 guys skip away. That’s was a blistering pace yesterday at the end up and down the climb, and we couldn't bring them back. I could sprint from the bunch behind, but it wasn't for the win - it was for 13th place. 

Q: How did the sprint unfold for you today?

Credit to my teammates for helping me out. Everybody did their bit. Simon was really good again, and Sam Bewley gave it his everything. We did four tight little laps at the end, and there was a very sharp right-hand corner at the one kilometre mark. The sprint was slightly uphill, and everyone had a lot of lactic in their legs by that point.

I was feeling good, and my teammates had set me up in fourth position. Like I said, I haven’t sprinted for myself in quite a long time. I’m used to leading out. I was trying to put myself into the mindset that I was actually sprinting and that I needed to be patient. In the end, I waited too long. It was just that 20 metres or fraction of a second that I waited, and  [Daniele Ratto of] Cannondale saw me step out. He stepped into me. I clipped his wheel, and it curbed my speed. It gave a few guys time to get a jump on me, and I couldn’t quite get them back. I picked up one place to finish third. The team set me up perfectly. It was no one's fault by my own what happened at the end. 

Q: Are you happy with the result?

Third is okay, but the sprint will run through my head a million times because I know I should have gone earlier. I had my wife and kids at the finish line today. She pulled them out of school to watch me race. It would have been fantastic to have them see me get the win even thought I know they were happy to get to see me at all.

I’ll be replaying that finish a few times in my head tonight – woulda, should, coulda – but yeah, third’s okay, I guess.