VeloVeritas took the road to Glasgow on Saturday morning – carefully avoiding the roadworks on the Forth Bridge – to cover the Scottish criterium champs and to meet our boy Evan at the finish of the Tour of Britain 2007.
– Reported by Evan Oliphant –
After we watched Paul Manning win on his own – an impressive victory, with Lars Bak and Salvatore Commesso, two of the riders he gave the slip – we caught up with Evan to get the chat.
How was it?
“Today was definitely the hardest day, with the cross winds; but we still did the first 80 k in 1-40 (ouch!). I’ve finished the Tour of Britain 2007 as best British rider, (16th @ 1-12) Daniel Lloyd got gapped, so I’ve jumped over him on GC (Lloyd was 22nd @ 2-01).”
“The French guy, Feillu, from Agritubel, grabbed a time bonus; that levelled him with Vilaplana and then it was on count-back to prologue positions, where Feillu was quicker.”
Who was doing the damage with the warp-speed?
“It wasn’t really like that, it was just that there were attacks going everywhere. I got in the first move of the day, it was savage, but you have to try. Manning was in that move, too and he won the stage out of that break at the death. He’s really strong, I was on his wheel yesterday and he just rode straight-up through the cross wind, very impressive.”
Daniel must be a bit disappointed, it was looking good for him, earlier in the race.
“Yeah, he’s pissed-off. Eric (DS, Vanderaerden) reckons that perhaps it wasn’t a good thing, us getting four riders in that move, the other day. It meant we were all up there on GC and didn’t get a lot of freedom to move. If we’d only had one rider well placed, then it would have been better for us. All of that said, it’s been the hardest Tour of Britain that I’ve ridden, The lack of big teams has meant that there’s no control, there have been attacks going constantly.”
A surprise winner?
“I thought the two Spanish teams would hold it together, but Agritubel know the score. They’re not ProTour, but they are racing at that level all the time, so they know what it’s all about.”
Not a bad result for our boy, then. There was no need to ask Evan about James McCallum; there he was, leaning over the fence on the other side of the road…
“I didn’t have the head for it today, I climbed off at the feed. I tried a dig at the start to try and get away, but it’s been so fast, the race has just been out of control.
“ith lesser-known teams and less riders per team, no one has been able to impose themselves on the race. I’m a bit disappointed, but at the same time, happy to have got as far as I did, with coming back from injury.
“It’s also in my mind that I have