Stage three of the Tour of Britain 2007 into Wolverhampton, how is the grass track boy from Wick doing?
– Reported by Evan Oliphant –
What was the route like today, Evan?
“It was 152 k from Worcester to Wolverhampton, a group got away early, there was no one in it within 11 minutes of the leader, so it was left to go, Tinkoff kept it steady all day and didn’t let it go too far. The only thing about Tinkoff doing all that work is that I think they are starting to feel it, some of their guys were going-off on the climbs and having to fight-hard to get back, and there are still hard days to go.
“The Aussie, Matt Goss from CSC won it from Freddy Bichot (Agritubel) and Roger Hammond (T-Mobile) was third, but as far as GC, nothing really happened. I actually think that the big hitters were thinking about stage 4, which has a big cat one climb near the finish, there’s guaranteed to be a big shake-up there.”
With Daniel 8th at only a few seconds, a win must be possible for DFL?
“He’s actually 7th now, at 18 seconds; Caethoven from Chocolade Jacques, who was above him on GC, has dropped-out. I’m 15th on GC, but the gap is only 23 seconds, we’re hoping to go on the attack tomorrow, there are four of us at DFL within a minute of the lead, so we’re in a good position.”
Have T-Mobile and CSC, the ProTour squads been impressing you?
“Not T-Mobile, I don’t think that they’ve sent their best squad, for example, they completely missed the big break yesterday. The standard on the race isn’t as high as it was last year, I’ve been close to the front on a lot of the climbs; I couldn’t have done that last year.”
You mentioned you were drug tested the other day?
“Yes, they took a urine sample, I think that on the random tests they just take urine, but if you win a stage, then they take blood and it’s the ‘full-deal’ testing procedure, checking for EPO and whatever else.”
I was looking at a picture of you in the race; you’re a skinny, boy!
“Yes, this is the lightest I’ve been, I’m at 65 kilos, when I was racing as an amateur, back in my Velo Ecosse days, I was 68/69 kilos, but I used to go up to 71 in the winter if I was out clubbing all the time!”
How’s James McCallum doing?
“I said to him this morning to stick with Paul Manning, he lives locally and I knew he’d go up the road; that’s exactly what he did and he was sixth at the end. I don’t know what happened, but James obviously didn’t go with him, I would have gone, but I’m too far up the GC for them to let me go.
“I think he had another bad day, he smashed a back wheel early, then he crashed in the last K, apparently he was flying through the air!”
Do you want me to be at the bottom of that big climb tomorrow, with your fixed [wheel] bike?
“Yeah, that would be good, but even without that, we’ll be on the attack tomorrow.”
We’re looking forward to hearing about that on Thursday afternoon.
Evan’s diary – Stage Three Evan’s diary – Stage Five