Salle de Presse, Meridien Hotel, Paris, 18.55 Sunday July 27th. We were in Etampes and we just watched Steegmans demonstrate how to sprint, he’s a much better sprinter than he is a time triallist.
Sastre won his, and CSC’s first Grand Tour without drama, there was the usual show boating — ‘Carlos with glass of champagne’, it says here on this script – and French riders grabbing TV time, so the sponsor’s VIP’s could enjoy their champagne more.
For me, it’s been another day of great experiences. By choice, I always like to write about racing or racing cyclists. Ideally I would have liked us to have walked the circuit, doing interviews as we went and counting down the laps in a ‘real time’ as the race flashed past. But Pez pays the bills and he wanted me to go with the Festina motor on the Publicity Caravan.
I’m glad I did, if you drive a stage, you cannot help but be affected by the joy, enthusiasm and just sheer ‘good to be alivedness’ of it all.
We spent the night in Orleans, an Ibis Hotel — it was first class and not dear at around 60-odd euros including an excellent breakfast.
There was an Arab run café next door and we had frites and pizza at about 11.00 pm — it looked a bit rough, but the boys were sound and th