Evan’s diary from the Tour of Britain 2007 from Rother Valley Country Park … Ever wondered why the continentals think that cycling in the UK is Mickey Mouse? — read-on!

– Reported by Evan Oliphant –

Jolly fun, I believe today, Evan?

“It was very active from the gun, attacks going all over the place, but nothing was sticking, at around 70 K there was a group of about 25 guys up the road and they had maybe 20 seconds; but they really weren’t going anywhere.

“Then, all of a sudden, the race was neutralised; it transpires that the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire had been on holiday when the permits were granted and the race route organised, so he didn’t know about it and demanded that the race be neutralised across his patch. They had us stopped beside the road for ten minutes and explained what was happening, then we rode for 33 K at 25 kph.

“At the end of the neutralisation they restarted the race and gave the group that had been away the 20 seconds they had before the race was stopped.

Rother Valley Country Park
Evan looking as fit as ever.

The continental managers must have loved that?

“Eric said that in any other country they would have just ignored it and carried-on racing, it could only happen here.”At the re-start, the group really gunned-it, Hamish Haynes from our squad was in the group and he was saying that the guys were really psyching themselves-up to go for it from the restart.

“He didn’t want to go in the break at the restart, because he knew what would happen and he’d be needed to work, but they told him he had to go with the group from the restart; he just sat-up immediately, though and came back to help.

“Just after the restart, two police motorbikes crashed, that was a distraction and CSC was at the front blocking, because they had Luke Roberts in the lead group.

“Within a couple of K, the gap was at a minute-plus. All of us, except Dan, plus Tinkoff, Rabo

bank and Chocolade Jacques went to the front and chased like hell, but the gap wouldn’t come-down, Nico (Mattan) couldn’t understand it and said that maybe they’d been helped by a car or motorbike.

“On the last climb, they were in sight and Daniel tried to bridge-across, but he didn’t make it, Eric (DS Vanderaerden) said that there was no point in trying to save himself anymore, as the race was up the road. Over the top we continued to chase hard, but didn’t really get any help.”

Rother Valley Country Park
Daniel Lloyd is having a great race, lying 15th overal at just over a minute.

Was Cavendish still there?

“That’s what we couldn’t understand, Cavendish and Hammond were both there, if they’d helped and got it back, then Cavendish would have won the sprint.

“Maybe they were wasted after the climb; Daniel was feeling-it after the climb and his failed attempt to get across. I was feeling it too, but I dug deep and hung on. Over the top, I did a lot of work on the run-in, along with our guy Burney Sulzberger and the yellow jersey, Trusov; but we didn’t get them back.

“The Spanish rider, Adrian Palomares Vilaplana: from Fuertaventura-Canarias took the stage and the jersey, he had two team mates with him in that group, so obviously that was a great help for him. I’m still 16th, but I’m at 1-08 now, Daniel has dropped-out of the top ten, he’s 15th now at 1-03, it’s disappointing, but it was a really unusual set of circumstances.”

Rother Valley Country Park
Adrian Palomares Vilaplana.

Is it still winnable?

“I think the Spanish guys will struggle to hold-on, there will be attacks from the gun tomorrow; we covered 51 K in the first hour today, and it will be like that again tomorrow.

“CSC will definitely go on the attack tomorrow, it’s a tough stage again and they have Luke Roberts in third position at eight seconds. Before the neutralisation today, a break had gone and we had Daniel in it but CSC had missed it.

“They went to the front and the computer went from 45 kph to 65 kph; we had been blocking for Daniel and were right at the front, so when they turned it on, we were right behind them, but it was chaos behind us.”

How’s that man McCallum?

“When it was neutralised, he was delighted, he said it was the first piece of good luck he’d had all week!”

If it’s not traffic worries, like 2006 then it’s the men with the scrambled eggs on their hats causing the problems, will tomorrow be hassle-free? You’ll find out first, right here on VeloVeritas!

Evan’s diary – Stage Four      Evan’s diary – Stage Six