I've been out here for the weekend, and I thought more people would have made the easy journey from the UK to Holland for a Grand Tour depart but so far the only ones we've bumped into are Neil and Maria Martin who are here for obvious reasons.
Joaquin Rodriguez sums it all up, neatly. It was an epic stage to Alpe di Pampeago... A courageous but ultimately doomed breakaway (just don’t tell Vik I said that, Sandy Casar is number three on his hate list behind Moncoutie and Dumoulin).
Ciao! Five K from Como, 14:42 on Friday. It's 13.5 degrees on the car computer but feels much warmer in the Lombardian sun. Dave's at the helm, we've been fed and I've got the Gazzetta on my lap - I'm having a "Giro flashback!"
I've been in Belgium for a week now, but to be honest I feel like I've never been away with the same routines already re-emerging into the day. It is really good to feel like a full time racing cyclist again as after months of spreading myself thin over winter, all I have to think about is riding my bike. I arrived a week past Tuesday, the 1st of March, which was simply a date plucked out of the air to maximise winter earning time, but get here in time for the start of the season proper.
The third day, and it's the big one, your actual Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007. I wrote-up my Gianetti and Ventoso interviews in the room first thing then came down for some grub. You can read the interview with Franciso here.
The Saturday gig for Paris - Roubaix 2007 was to do a piece on the velos, so it was down to the start at Compiegne, and collect our creds. ASO didn't let us down; "I have credentials for you, but not your driver!". I won't bore you, but it was several hours and more of that patience-stuff later before we got the vital bits of string and plastic.
If you were on the UK race scene in the late 70’s through to the mid-90’s then you’ll be familiar with the name ‘Paul Curran.’ The man could do the lot – he was British Champion in the team pursuit, madison, points, motorpaced, pro criterium, amateur road race, team time trial and hill climb.
It's Sunday at the Copenhagen Six Day, and it's Sprints to start and Hazel Dean thumps out, quality high energy from the 80’s ‘Searchin’ — quality. Followed by ‘Livin in America’ from the late, great James Brown — we’re in luck, tonight.
GB riders in the Men’s Elite TTT? Alex Dowsett for Movistar with a nice ride for bronze, Team Sky had Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard – when do those boys get a rest? And that’s our whack, right? Wrong. Check out rider number 243, licence holder GBR 19960306, Dan Gardner, Great Britain, Astellas Cycling Team, USA.