Despite having only just completed the Giro d'Italia, Michael Barry still found time to check in with us before taking a well-deserved break to share his thoughts on an industrious three weeks in the saddle:
TeamSky.com: How are you feeling after that brutal final week?
Michael Barry: The race went well for us and the team morale was high throughout the three weeks so, overall, I feel good and content. The support from the staff was incredible and that made a huge difference to our recovery and to the ambiance within the team. They all worked relentlessly and never complained even though they had to deal with a significant amount of adversity.
Physically, the race was draining for us as we not only spent hours of the day on the bike but also many more hours driving to and from the hotels. There have been hardly any moments in the past few weeks where we have actually been in one spot, motionless.
TeamSky.com: Where does this year's race ranks alongside other Giros you have ridden in the past?
MB: I think it was one of the nicest, most interesting Giros in a long time, and certainly one of the hardest Grand Tours I have ridden. From a spectator's point of view I think the race must have been thrilling to watch - each day was exciting and the courses took us over some magnificent countryside.
TeamSky.com: How do you feel the tour worked out for you personally?
MB: I was happy with my race. I recovered well from day to day and was able to do my job properly. Overall, it was a great experience and it will be a race I recall fondly when I am old.
TeamSky.com: And from a team point of view?
MB: It was a success on many levels. We grew as a group, we accomplished our objectives, we rode well as a unit and we progressed during the three weeks as we learned to ride well together and support each other on a higher level than we had in the past. As it was the team's first Grand Tour, it was a big step and the staff and management did a fantastic job of providing the ideal environment for us.
TeamSky.com: How do you feel the team's organisation and outlook compares with others in the peloton?
MB: We ride well together and are focussed on our goals and the race plan. That unity is fundamental and as the season progresses it will bring us success. Many teams don't have the same focus or commitment from the staff and riders.
TeamSky.com: What are the main plus points to take from the tour?
MB: The progression we made as a team was remarkable. Within the three weeks there were many highlights - from the results right through to simple moments where we were all laughing together on the bus.
TeamSky.com: Who was your rider of the tour, and why?
MB: I can't pick one rider. In three weeks there were many fantastic performances. Not only of the riders who were up front and winning but also those who struggled behind to make it to the finish on the tough mountain days. Their tenacity is equally as impressive. It wasn't an easy race and many riders had to fight with every ounce of energy they had to finish.
TeamSky.com: And finally, what are your plans for the next few weeks?
MB: I will take a short rest and enjoy my time with my family. Then, I will start training for the coming objectives.