Nicholas Roche: 'Getting in the right break is like buying a Lotto ticket'
Monday, September 10, rest day. After arriving to our hotel around 9.0pm last night, I was more interested in getting another shower after a cramped two-hour car journey than getting a massage.
Although we were staying in a roadside hotel with no restaurant last night, our team chef took over the conference room in the basement and made us hamburgers and pizza for dinner as a treat.
Normally there are some riders missing from the table because some are getting rubs or were down earlier but last night we all sat around and had a relaxed evening ahead of today's second rest day.
I didn't sleep great last night, the burning sensation of the last two days' breakaways still in my legs, so I made the most of our day off this morning and didn't get up until around 10.0.
As our hotel is just 5km from the start of tomorrow's time-trial stage, we all grabbed our time-trial bikes after breakfast and rode out to the course for a recon.
The whole area reminded me of Ireland, the greenery and the cows in the fields - as we trained we were just missing a thatched cottage to be picture perfect.
With a lap of the 36km course done, we headed back towards the hotel, stopping for a coffee and a chat on the way.
After lunch it was time for a bit of a siesta before going down to meet my agent Jamie Barlow, who had brought a black time-trial helmet from manufacturers Giro to wear at the world championships at the end of the month.
Most of those who are either non-time-trial specialists or are not contesting the overall classification will probably treat tomorrow's race against the clock as another rest day, but I'm in two minds as to what to do.
I'd like to give it a good go because I'm riding both the road race and time trial for Ireland at the worlds, but the accumulation of fatigue here means I don't really have any idea whether I will be fast or not.
Coming into this Vuelta on so little racing, I didn't really know what to expect.
I'm not in the best shape of my life but I'm not in the worst either.
Unfortunately, two of the three breakaways I managed to get into were doomed from the start while we got a victory with 'Demma' (Alessandro De Marchi) from the other one.
Even though Italian sprinter Elia Viviani has ear-marked Thursday for another chance to show his sprinting prowess, I think every day from now has the chance for a breakaway to stay away to the finish, especially the tough mountain days tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.
I think yesterday's escape might have been a bit ambitious because I was already tired from the previous two but hopefully after today I will come around a bit and try again.
Trying to get into the stage-winning break is a bit like buying a lottery ticket, there's a price to pay but you can't win if you're not in.