Tour of Britain 2007. Nico Mattan was in the DFL team car with Evan at the Tour of Britain 2007, having his first taste of Kendal mint cake when I rang on Friday; we’ll hear more wisdom from Nico later, but he did like the mint cake.

– Reported by Evan Oliphant –

Tour of Britain 2007
Nico does love his beer. He DNF’d today, so will likely be home enjoying a lovely cold Leffe Blonde as you read this.

How was it today?

“It was a hard day, there was a cross wind from the start and a group of eight or nine got away, there were three GC guys up there, but in the end, they got caught and there were just two left out-front, Cavendish and Alexander Serov (Tinkoff).

“Serov dropped Cav on a steep climb and won on his own, Cav held-on for second. I think Cav was chasing points today for one of the sprint jerseys. I don’t think that there will be much change on GC, though. Palomares from Fuerteventura still leads, but I think that maybe a few of his team mates will have slipped-down the rankings — they worked very hard today, but they were shelled on the steep climbs at the death. I was surprised at how strong they were, but like I said, they paid for it.”

How was your day?

“I tried to get away on the last climb, just to try and make some time, I was with Trusov, but we were brought back. It was hard to get away, after I went, Daniel jumped with a couple of CSC’s, but they were caught too.

“I think this year has been harder than the other years on the Tour of Britain, there are attacks all the time, there’s no control; the Fuerteventura guys were riding at a hard tempo but there were still attacks going everywhere. The team of the guy that is second David Blanco (Duja —Tavira) were helping Fuerteventura, so there are ten Spaniards riding.”

How’s the team?

“OK, were all still in the race, except Nico, he climbed-off at the feed, but he did a load of work for us before that, he was riding very strongly in the cross winds, he has a flight to catch, early tomorrow. Daniel wasn’t feeling as good as he has been, but I think that he and I will have moved-up because of some of the Spanish guys getting dropped on the hills.”

How’s our boy, McCallum?

“I think he’s OK, I saw him at 20 K to go, but he’s on another new bike, that’s the third bike he’s been on in the race.”

How have the hotels and food been?

“We’ve been in the same hotels as the Tour of Britain 2007 race organisation, so they’ve been good, and so has the food. Tonight will be about the worst hotel we’ve been in, it’s a Holiday Inn, but we were in an old castle, the other night.

“Nico has enjoyed the hotels and the food, but he hates the race food; he’s always saying that we should swap race food with other teams, so we all get a change. He’s not had a recovery drink for seven years, he hates the stuff and says it’s bad for your stomach — a good beer after the finish is better for the digestion!”

Tomorrow?

“I don’t see the Spanish guys letting it go, they were strong today. I think there will be a lot of attacks, though — it’s just the way this race has been. I have good legs, so I have to show tomorrow, even if it’s just to get into a break for a while; it’s my home-stage in the Tour of Britain 2007, so I have to do something.”

VeloVeritas will be on Glasgow Green to cover the last stage and the Scottish criterium championships which precede it — pity about Nico and that flight, there are bars I’m sure he’d like, in the Briggait.”