Tour de France: Mick Rogers credits stage 16 win to change in mindset after doping ordeal
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: 22/07/14 6:49pm
Mick Rogers on the podium after winning stage 16 of the Tour de France
Mick Rogers highlighted a change in mental attitude in the wake of an unfounded doping charge last winter as the key factor behind securing his first Tour de France stage win.
Rogers triumphed on stage 16 after surging clear from a group of five leaders with a powerful attack 4.7km out from the finish in Bagneres-de-Luchon.
It followed two victories at May’s Giro d’Italia and continues what has so far been one of the most successful seasons of the Australian’s career, despite now being aged 34.
Rogers only got his campaign under way at the end of April, when a provisional suspension was lifted after the International Cycling Union accepted his argument that a positive test for Clenbuterol was the result of food poisoning.
Even though he was exonerated, Rogers was left traumatised by the ordeal and revealed after his Tour win that he has changed his approach to racing in 2014.
'In it to win it'
“I'm certainly riding smarter at this point of my career,” he said. “I realised I have to be in it to win it. In the past, I was scared, but now I tell myself, ‘If you try your best, the worst thing that can happen is to lose a bike race’. My new state of mind opens doors to many opportunities.
“[The suspension] was certainly a lesson of life for me. Previously, I accepted whatever happened. After that I took a different outlook at life. I have told myself: ‘Stop living someone else's life'.”
Rogers was able to join the breakaway on stage 16 and ultimately claim victory because he was not burdened by the responsibility of having to support a team leader.
After Alberto Contador crashed out of the race on stage ten, Tinkoff-Saxo reverted to challenging for stage wins at this year’s Tour and Rogers gave them their second triumph in three stages, following Rafal Majka’s victory in stage 14.
“Had Alberto not crashed, I would probably not be here as a stage winner,” Rogers added. “I would have been very tired by now because of defending the yellow jersey. Now that I got my opportunity to win, I could be grateful to him for having abandoned the Tour, but no, I'm heartbroken.”