Bonjour 08.30 we’re just getting ready to roll. This is our second F1 hotel of the trip, Grenoble two nights ago and here, last night, basic but clean and the beds work fine – 33 euros for the two of us, so musn’t grumble.

It’s another beautiful day in France, more that can be said for St. Etienne, which seems to be re-inventing itself as a ‘Techno Town.’ The old part of town is fine though, we had an excellent pizza in a little restaurant last night.

It was great to sit down at a semi reasonable hour with a knife and fork and know we didn’t have a huge drive to put in after our meal.

Nearly read to roll, so wish me luck on my Kawasaki!…

Emma Davies Jones
So far so good…

Dominik, the guy from ASO, who set it up for me asked me how it was; “one of the best days of my life,” I replied.

A wonderful experience, it’ll probably take a day or two to sink in.

We were on the road early out of Saint Etienne to get to the start at Roanne in plenty of time to confirm my gig.

That done, we had some breakfast – no scrambled eggs in the Tour Village this year – ham and bread, fruit salad and excellent coffee.

Emma Davies Jones
I wanna get closer!

After that we did a ‘bike skek,’ getting Kohl, Freire, Vandevelde and Evan’s bikes. We had good crack with the mechanics and got some sad little facts to go with the pics.

After that it was time for the Kwaker.

It’s 21.30 local time, and we’re nearly ready to shut up shop.

Emma Davies Jones
The crowds were amazing today.

Martin had a cool day too – he gave a lift from the start up to the finish to Emma Davies Jones, pro bike rider and Eurosport Commentator, ending the journey with a spell in the commentators’ box alongside Dave Harmon and Sean Kelly.

Emma Davies Jones
Martin joined Emma Davies Jones, Sean Kelly and Dave Harmon in the EuroSport commentary box.

Bonsoir!