‘How’s it goin’ Shane?‘ we ask Skyman Shane Sutton as we cross the car park in search of Michael Barry for a rest day interview at the Le Tour de France 2010. ‘Been better, mate!‘ he fires back between hard draws on his fag – it’s difficult for a man who wears his heart on his sleeve to ‘spin.’
Inside, Michael Barry, who’s an eloquent, polite, sound guy tells us that morale is good – he best get out and tell Shane that, then.
Michael Barry was our fourth gig of the day.
If we wanted to, we could do one piece and have a leisurely day – but that’s not what it’s about.
We’re on the biggest race on the planet – you don’t waste time.
First appointment of the day was at the Euskaltel bus – and a meeting with Sammy Sanchez’s Orca.
We were bang on schedule until we got ‘pulled’ for speeding – Dave’s French and ‘little boy lost’ act was worth a BAFTA and after our lecture we headed on our way – it’s a 90 Euros on the spot fine if they push it.
Over at the Euskaltel hotel it’s friendly chaos, no ropes or barriers or inscrutable faces – the team belongs to the people of Euskadi.
Kids, riders, old wifies, mechanics, DS’s, bike riding Tour followers and journos mill around together – wonderful.
Tomas, the mechanic who shows us Sammy’s Orca is an old chum from the Vuelta a few years ago.
There’ll be a full piece on the Olympic champion’s bike soon. We liked his ‘B’ bike better than the ‘A’ – we’re not big gold hi-lites fans.
Next up was an interview with Liquigas’ Great Dane, Brian Vandborg; he’s a big strong boy with perfect English – including all the florid phrases.