Monday, July 26, 2021
HomeDiariesSaunier Duval Team Launch 2007 - Day 4

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007 – Day 4


It’s 6.30 pm here at the Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007, and there’s more pics being taken around the pool, somebody is late and the photographer isn’t happy ‘cos he’s lost the light. Enthusiasm isn’t high: a six hour run saw to that today. It’s another six hour job tomorrow too.

I just had my interview with Simoni, he smiles a lot and he’s polite but he’s easily bored. I’ve been watching guys interview him and none of the conversations last too long. He seems in a little world of his own, ‘Planet Gilbo’ as one of his ‘squadra’ told me.

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007
Juice stop.

I did another big stint of word processing this morning: the Millar, Doria and SIS pieces, and after that I had to tempoarily abandon my role as a big-time journo, returning to my other role of guiser to go in search of T-cut for the Yaris. I’m glad I didn’t leave it until tomorrow, it took an age to find some. I put the car through a car wash first, with a hand pre-wash and hand chamois after; it was 6 euros = 4 quid… how is everything so expensive in Scotland? I did my Arthur Dailey thing with the polish on the Yaris bumper and wing and it looks great now, well, kinda…

There’s hilarity outside. A couple of the guys have jumped in the pool, racing gear on, at the request of the photographer, so he can get some ‘daft’ shots. Morale certainly seems good. Pascal was telling me there’s an agreement amongst the riders that in the group pictures they all stand on their tip-toes to make Simoni look (even) smaller – unbeknownst to Gilbo, obviously.

It’s 18.45 and my long-promised ten minutes with Iban Mayo has just been organised – for 9.30; that’ll be 10.00 if I’m lucky. There’ll be no wee bar, tapas and a Cruzcampo for Ed tonight, then.

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007
Why stand when you can sit?

It’s 20.35 and the Simoni interview has been written-up and emailed, along with some pics of Gilbo giving our readers the ‘thumbs up.’

Hotel lobby, 21.10 and I’m taking no chances about missing the man with the mullet, but It’s 22.10 when I finally get my time with Iban. It just goes to show – you should never judge a man by his haircut! He’s quiet, polite and his ready smile is for real, not like Gilbo’s “turn-on the joker act”.

The interview will be on the site soon, but the jist of it is that he needed a change from Euskaltel after seven seasons with the expectation of the Basque nation on his shoulders and no team riders or staff from anywhere except the Pays Basque. I think Gianetti will get a lot more out of Iban than we’ve seen for a while.

It was midnight by the time I get that written-up and emailed off to Vancouver. Bed time – for sure!

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007 – Day 3

The third day, and it's the big one, your actual Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007. I wrote-up my Gianetti and Ventoso interviews in the room first thing then came down for some grub. You can read the interview with Franciso here.

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007 – Day 2

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."

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007 – Day 1

The alarm goes at 03.45, and it's almost painful. Davie arrives bang-on 04.45 and we're off to Glasgow in the Peugeot, the roads are a bit slippery and Dave makes things more interesting by driving with dipped head lights all the time; even when there's nothing coming in the opposite direction.

Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007 – Postscript

"Everything is good?" I say to the bonnie Spanish lass who checks the Yaris back into the hire-bay after the Saunier Duval Team launch; "Yes, have a good trip," she smiles. "Thank you", I reply, patting the trusty can of cutting-compound in my bag as I skip towards the terminal. She wouldn't have said that if she'd seen it after the boy skelped it with the Jeep on Tuesday.

At Random

Training in Spain and early season Celtic Racing

Since the last blog training has been great and on the 14th Lindsay Gordon headed for Spain with every intention of doing a good solid weeks training in the mountains around Benidorm.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 21; Évry – Paris Champs-Élysées, 136 km. Kittel’s Fourth

If you rode the Tour in the colours of Lampre you've got €9,830 coming your way - but don't get too excited, that's to be split between nine coureurs and the staff. And if you then remember that's for one month's work - the shine comes of things a wee bit. However, if you were one of Vincenzo's hard working storm troops then you'd be splitting €539,330 with the Capo not taking his share. That's better !

Michael Mørkøv – Straight from the Road to a Six Day win

It's been quite a season for Saxo-Tinkoff's former World Madison Champion, Michael Mørkøv. The man from just north of Copenhagen was the prime animator in the Spring classics; wore the polka dot King of the Mountains leader's jersey in the Tour de France for the first week; was in the Danish team pursuit squad which dipped under the magic four minutes in London and he was back off 'up the road' in the late season Northern European classics.

Young Scots at the AVS Cup at the Gent Six Day 2016

Sunday starts with the climax of the under 23 Six the AVS Cup. Not long ago I would have struggled to believe that home grown Scottish talent would be riding Gent but with Mark Stewart in the elite event and Andy Brown and Grant Martin in the U23 this is a Scottish success story.

How far to go? Stage 16 TdF2010 (mountain)

How far to go. Stage 16 TdF2010 was the biggest climbing stage of the Tour, but the last climb was some 60km from the finish, which made for a weird looking profile for the day. The boys scaled four enormous mountains, the first beginning from km 0. Tough gig.

Colin Sturgess – the Ex-World Pursuit Champion on the Comeback Trail!

It’s been a wee while since we last spoke to former world professional pursuit champion, Colin Sturgess. When we heard he was back in harness – winning the League of Veteran Racing Cyclist time trial championship this autumn we thought we’d best have a word.