All night drive-in pharmacies here in Trinidad & Tobago aren't really the place cyclists should be seen at gone midnight, but Leif liked the 'skin powder' the Red Cross guys used on his abrasions so much that we had to pop in and see if we could get some more. They didn't have any, but it was another one for my 'experiences' file.
He was 1991 British Amateur Champion, won the Franco-Belge against top opposition and took the major French Classic, Paris-Chauny - but was out of the sport by the age of 25 with his best years yet to come. His name; John Hughes. We thought he’d have a good tale to tell...
A few years ago in that much missed part of Scottish cycling history which was the Girvan Three Day - old timers like me still want to say; ‘Grants of Girvan,’ the race originally sponsored by that purveyor of the water of life – a stage was curtailed because of snow. The journos did the rounds of riders such as Nacer Bouhanni, management and officials who all said broadly the same thing, that given the conditions it was a wise decision.
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.
Kristoff was no surprise to us – especially with Paolini as his wingman; Cancellara – enough said. But the man on the third step of the podium was a big – and it must be said, pleasant – surprise, Sky’s Ben Swift, back from the wilderness. Last season was compromised by injury picked up in 2012 and subsequent surgery but there were green shoots of recovery to be seen at the start of this season – two podiums and a top ten in Nokere.
Bonjour from Le Tour de France in Rodez-Revel! Vino - he's a boy. Born 16-09-1973 in Petropavlosk, he was a stagiere with Casino in 1997; he won the Dunkirk Four Day in his first full season and finished that year with six wins - an impressive debut.
We're at Gent-Gent. His long torso arches, like that of a tiger about to pounce on it's prey; elbows out, the black Specialized with it's hugely over-sized down tube - necessary to absorb the mega wattages this beast produces - surges forward.
Today is the first out and out sprint stage. Today we find out if the form Gossy and Greipel showed yesterday relative to Mark Cavendish was true, or if Cav was holding back a little. (For those out of the loop, Greipel showed that his train is beautifully organised and disciplined; and Gossy showed that he can bop a win over the great one when at the Tour.)
I was coming down the 'parachutes' in the Transit on Friday - the old East 25 course - when I got the text message from Dave; 'Garcia and Hesjedal away with two K to go.'
I was talking to Ryder only last night-about his great ride on stage 9, when he was second to Simon Gerrans; then the next text came in; 'Your man has won!'