Talking to people who had been to the start in Holland and the stages through Belgium and Germany it was a great success which attracted bigger crowds than expected, if they could only have moved the Spanish weather there it would have been perfect.

The stages up there were not expected to affect the eventual overall out-come, but the next week in the area of Valencia were, and did!

It was good to see smaller team; Vacansoleil, with Borut Bozic, take a stage as they have been knocking on the door of success for some time.

If you have never seen André Greipel of Columbia in the flesh, he is frightening; a cross between a track sprinter, a weight lifter and a bare fist fighter!

Andre Greipel and Elena Scorosanu. (Pic. David Hood / William Hill)
Andre Greipel (with Elena Scorosanu). Image:© David Hood of William Hill.

Talking of sprinters, what is wrong with Tom Boonen? I admire him for his wins in Roubaix and Flanders, but he can’t sprint any more. He just doesn’t have it in his legs or maybe his head; will he become a new Peter Van Petegem, with a month long season and nothing else?

John Anderson with some Belgian guy.
John Anderson with some Belgian guy.

The stages I went to see in Alicante and Murcia were phenomenal, the crowds were great and the climbs in this area are long and steep, first we had Cadel Evans in Gold, then he lost the lead to Alejandro Valverde, running into the Spaniard’s home land of Murcia.

The next ten days are very hard, over the weekend we could see some changes – remember we have the top six riders within 65 seconds of each other, so it’s all to play for, as football pundit might say.