Team Raleigh's Dan Fleeman has set the interview up for us, and we're sitting in the "Hotel Anonymous" in Walsall. A dapper, trim figure in blazer and slacks bounds up the stairs; it takes a moment to register - it's our man, Grant Thomas.
He’s one of the men to thank/blame for the current plethora of facial hair in the pro peloton; add to that a dazzling array of pained expressions and you have one of the most photographed professionals around – Dutchman, Laurens Ten Dam (Belkin). The 33 year-old from Zuidwolde in Groningen has been on the scene for a long time but it’s only in the last few years he’s emerged as a man whose name is mentioned in connection with the GC of Grand Tours.
We made sure we were in plenty time for the Giro d'Italia 2010 stage start today - our mission was to get pics of Diquigiovanni's Cameron Wurf for Jered Gruber but Cam didn't arrive at the sign on before our appointed time of bolting.
"Hey Ed, hope you are well? Just thought I'd let you know the Scottish guys are racing Ras Muhman this weekend, a four day over in Ireland. Phil Trodden in particular is riding for Scotland. I don't know if you know Phil, but he is an absolute gent and a proper racer..." That was the message from British Points Race Champion, Mark Stewart – best not argue with those trackies, they can get very emotional – so we dropped Phil a line and here’s what he had to say to us.