After making such a good job of his diary in the Tour of Ireland, DFL professional Evan Oliphant will be giving VeloVeritas the low-down on his home Tour, which started in London today and finishes in Glasgow on Saturday; the Tour of Britain 2007. We caught up with Evan, in the DFL team car, stuck in traffic at Crystal Palace, listening to the chart show [at max volume] on Radio One, here’s what he had to say (I think!).

– Reported by Evan Oliphant –

Crystal Palace
Evan, the Scottish Road Champion, is enjoying the Tour of Britain.

How did it go?

“Cavendish won with 2.27, the Russian Nikolai Trusov from Tinkoff was second at one second; best British rider was Geraint Thomas four seconds down for 4th; best from our squad was Dan Lloyd at nine seconds in 26th and I was 48th at 12 seconds. James McCallum pulled his wheel at the start, lost 55 seconds and was last!

“It was quite a tricky circuit, you didn’t need to brake but you had to come off the tri-bars at a couple of places because it was twisting and bumpy. At least one guy managed to crash, I saw him chucking his bike and crash hat down at the finish.

“I warmed-up around the circuit for a couple of laps, but also warmed-up on the turbo; I got some tips from Jason!”

Were you on the low-pro?

“Yes, it’s the first time I’ve ridden it since the Scottish 10 champs and that was weeks ago. That doesn’t help; if I rode it more I then would go better on it. I had a rear disc in too, it’s a good bike, but like I say, I could do with more practice on it.”

Cavendish — a surprise?

“Yeah, I would have expected it if the circuit was pan-flat, but there’s a hill near the finish, he was fastest to that point too, so he’s King of the Mountains as well! I don’t think he can win it overall though, there are some very nasty climbs on Tuesday, that’s when the race will be decided, I think.”

What do you think of prologues, in general?

“I think they’re a good thing, it stops things happening like did in the Tour of Ireland, where a break goes up the road on the first day and the race is effectively over for every one else. Tomorrow, T-Mobile will obviously take control for Cavendish and the result is still wide-open. The only thing about this prologue was that we had a five hour drive each way to get to it, and that’s not the best.”

How’s the form?

“Yeah, I’m happy with it, I came out of the Tour of Ireland feeling good and I’m looking forward to this.”

Your goal for the race?

“To win a stage, but that won’t be easy; there are only a couple of big teams here and that encourages every body to try and get-up the road, it’s less controlled and harder. Plowman Craven is going on the offensive early tomorrow, so I’m going to try and get with them, Gordon McCauley says that I have to stick with him.”

Crystal Palace
Hoping to proove ‘the Comic’ wrong.

And the team goals?

“We didn’t have a team meet last night; we all knew we just had to get round the two kilometres as fast as we could! But we’ll have one tonight and I should imagine that we’re going to try and get Daniel into a good GC placing, he’s going very well just now.”

Cycling Weekly wasn’t giving you much chance.

“No, I saw that but it’s always like that with the team and ‘the comic’; I think perhaps they have an issue with Nick Collins [team owner] – they never say many good things about us.”

Here at VeloVeritas, we have no issues with anyone, except Jimmy Leslie, of course! We’ll be talking to Evan again tomorrow night from the Tour of Britain 2007 – can he and Kiwi strongman McCauley stay-away, all day?

Evan’s diary – Stage Two.