The team time trial here in Montpellier, it’s beautiful; speed, strength, skill, trust, unity, honour — everything that makes pro bike racing special.
As my tele kindled up, there was big Den Menchov picking himself up off the tar — it was Rome all over again.
But this time he wasn’t picking himself up to finish in triumph just around the corner — it was only to continue the nightmare that is his 2009 Tour.
Just minutes later, BBox raised a dust cloud as they put four men in the scenery — it was a dangerous course.
And a tough one, as I watched Katyusha spat men out the back.
AG2R got round in one piece in respectable fashion but Silence’s day wasn’t the best; Charly Wegelius’s face told a story about how tough it was.
Liquigas were classy, Pellizotti, Kreuziger, Nibali — all good riders and don’t forget that it was the men in green who nabbed the TTT in the Giro last year.
Garmin are rampant; Tyler Farrar ‘blows’ — I was supposed to be talking to him tonight; maybe leave my questions ‘til tomorrow, that man is hurting.
Pate has gone too, so has Maaskant and Dean — they’re down to five already; it’s death or glory with Brad looking hugely impressive.
Lance nods and waves to the crowds at the start, practising for those gubernatorial walkabouts, no doubt.
He’s a magnet for cameras, a sponsor’s dream — but maybe not Spanish products.
Time check two and Garmin go top, just five of them but they’re on fire.
Cancellara is leading from the front, he really is a bear of a man; but despite his huge spells at the front, Saxo are only third fastest, 15 down — could Lance be heading for yellow?
No, please, I can hear Viktor already!
Wiggins puts in a huge spell with Hesjedal unable to come through — the big Canadian is unde