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Le Tour de France 2010, Prologue: what the papers say, plus our visit to the Edinburgh Nocturne

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We have a look at the Edinburgh Nocturne in this article, but first, once again VeloVeritas finds itself in the ‘emperor’s new clothes’ situation — last year at the Worlds, we were about the only ones to point out that Brad heaving his bike after a mechanical in the TT was not particularly good patter.

Are we the only ones to observe that Alberto Contador is hardly a muscular prologue blaster and at 38 years-of-age, Big Tex isn’t exactly the ideal age to be a prologue specialist either?

Edinburgh Nocturne
Bert turns in an excellent prologue. Photo©Bettini.

However, both men are GC contenders and are only too aware that every second counts — Lance was 4th and Bert was 6th to Bradley’s 77th with a deficit of 34 seconds on the Texan and 29 on the Spaniard.

Edinburgh Nocturne
Wiggins and SKY misjudged the conditions terrribly. Photo©AFP.

But Bradley as a former world and reigning Olympic pursuit champion – not to mention Giro prologue winner – must surely have been one of the favourites.

Ah, but “there’s the rain and not wanting to take risks, we’re where we want to be, and the numbers are right and…”

Fabian, a giant of a man, a giant performance but terrific rides from David Millar and Geraint Thomas both of whom rode the British road race last Sunday — which Brad didn’t, because it didn’t ‘fit in’ with his lead up to the Tour.

Hmm! — it didn’t seem to do David and Geraint any harm.

Brian Smith reckons that all Brad’s eggs are in the mountain basket because that’s where the race will be won — let’s hope that Brian’s got it right and we’ve got it wrong.

Edinburgh Nocturne
That’s a high riser and no mistake.

We did a straw poll of the British papers on Sunday morning to see what they had to say about the Prologue…

Scotland on Sunday gave us two pages about the last time a British team rode the Tour – ANC in 1987 – and a page about Lance’s current woes with Floyd; but nowt about the Prologue, that we could find.

Interesting to note that whilst the Shack man denies, denies, denies — he did try to get an injunction against the Wall Street Journal publishing the ‘bikes oot the back door to fund the kit’ piece.

Lance and Floyd dominate the Glasgow Herald and Sunday Times too, with old Fabian getting only a passing mention as winner.

Edinburgh Nocturne

We liked The Observer best, ‘Cunning plan turns into a washout for Wiggins’ says the headline, and we even get a rare pic of Cancellara.

* * *

The Edinburgh Nocturne

Then — it was off to the Grassmarket for the Edinburgh Nocturne race.

I’ll get the moan out of the way first; they needed more riders – the only place where the field looked right for the circuit was in the finish straight.

For most of the circuit the riders were lost on the wide streets between the high buildings — and maybe it could be a little shorter?

Edinburgh Nocturne
Maxie’s wine bar clients stand out to watch the race.

That’s about it; lots of colour, attacking, carbon rims ‘clacking’ on the cobbles and scantily-clad ladies out on the town for the night — can’t be bad!

It was nice to see the Aussie stars — Matt Goss, Cameron Myer and Luke Durbridge; those in the know reckon that Durbridge — who’s a triple world junior champion — along with his Jayco-Skins team mate Michael Matthews — will be the next big Aussie stars.

For a while it looked like we might get a home winner as Evan Oliphant lead on his own for several laps, then with Kristian House, but it was the lean, dark Rapha man who soloed to the win with Cameron Meyer second and Evan third — with Alex Coutts producing a good ride, too.

Edinburgh Nocturne
Five to go, John Herety tells his man.

Cycling on the tele, cycling just up the road from my house — a late beer would have made it a perfect day; but with my shorts on and ‘man bag’ for the Nikon and the notebook, I thought that discretion was the better part of valour and got a cab home.

We’ll be glued to the TV for the Brussels stage tomorrow, and as opinionated as ever — hope you can join us.

Ciao, ciao.

Edinburgh Nocturne – Gallery

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.

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