I’m in Spain for the Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007. I got my SRAM piece away first thing this morning then ambled down for breakfast and to see if I could find Virginie, she’s the Saunier PR girl – I met her at the Tour – she’s a nice lass. I asked about interviews; “maybe tonight, but certainly tomorrow.”
So I said; “how about getting in a team car?” and she said; “can you go right now?“. Ten minutes later and I’m in the Honda behind Matxin the Director Sportif and beside Robert the mechanic, and we’re off on a five hour haul round Andalucia with the riders.
It’s bizarre here, the coast is just a huge construction site and every second business has the word “English” above the door, but drive inland for half-an-hour and the roads are deserted. You are in the land of the White Towns, or Pueblos Blancos. Beautiful, quiet towns, clinging to the rugged slopes.
When the sun hits them they shine like jewels against the barren slopes they occupy. The first climb of the day came within a few kilometres of the coast and was brutal. The team was divide