Another good sleep, alarm at 06:00 and straight into the shower, shave, jump into shorts and a T-shirt then down to the car and haul the bike out, stick the wheels in, blow the tyres up, run over it with a baby wipe [they work great] and we're off. The mission is to ride, photograph and review the prologue course. My Ibis hotel isn't far from the race HQ, once I got down there it took a bit of time to orient myself.
I walked in to the press room this morning and one of the guys from French radio told me that Ulrich and Sevilla were gone - sent home by T-Mobile due to their involvement in Operacion Puerto, the Spanish drugs bust. Le Tour de France 2006.
The Operation Puerto bombshell has gone off - we just received a communiqué -Tour organisers defy Court of Arbitration in Sport and Astana Wurth DO NOT start 2006 Tour de France! If you are ever asked at a pub quiz how far it is from Kirkcaldy to Strasbourg, the answer is 915 miles -- if you go via Calais, Reims and Metz that is.I left Kirkcaldy at 7.30 pm last night and was waiting to board my ferry out of Dover exactly eight hours and 527 miles later.