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Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 12: Postscript

Bonjour! Sorry I haven't drawn a line under my sojourn in France sooner, but the last few days have been a tad hectic getting back into the groove. Here are a few pictures taken on my last day...

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 11: Stage 8, Saint-Méen-le-Grand...

Heading to Lorient today... There's a great old 70's film called, 'The Omega Man'. To cut a long story short, Charlton Heston is the last man left alive (by day anyway) in a post-viral world. He roams this completely deserted US city with not another living thing in sight.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 10: Stage 7, Saint-Grégoire...

How could I ignore my hero Serhiy here in Saint-Grégoire? If I’d had a proper thinking-head on when I did the revue of the course yesterday I would have mentioned him; ‘a strong man’s course’ I said and who’s stronger than the man who rides 56 x 11? Isn’t it a joy to see him forcing that ‘death gear’ along the road, none of that embarrassing high-revving nonsense; face a mask of pain, giving his all — awesome.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 9: Stage 6, Lisieux...

Much of the cynicism I have built-up about the commercialism and rampant ‘janitor-mentality’ of many of the officials on Le Tour de France 2006 evaporated on Friday as we drove the full race route from Lisieux to Vitré.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 8: Stage 5, Beauvais...

I said this morning that I would talk to you from Caen; well it’s actually Lisieux, around 50 kilometres east of Caen, here on Le Tour de France 2006. It took the usual hour to get to the start this morning. Beauvais was ‘en fete’ for le Tour - not the grotty part of Beauvais you encounter en route to Ryanair’s tent at the airport but the nice, old part complete with Gothic cathedral.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 7: Stage 4, Huy...

We were spoiled at Strasbourg those first two days of Le Tour de France 2006 with the hotel just a couple of minutes from the press room and the action all within easy reach until the start on Monday. The driving is a killer now en route Saint-Quentin, not just because it’s boring and tiring but because of the time you waste. If I do a Grand Tour again, I’ll definitely organise a driver so as I can write as I travel.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 6: Stage 3, Esch-sur-Alzette...

I'm on Le Tour de France 2006 heading to Valkenburg. You know you’re in Luxembourg when the sanitary ware in the public toilets is by up-market ceramics company Villeroy & Boch.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 5: Stage 2, Obernai...

At Le Tour de France 2006 I was involved with TV - no, no, not like that, cycling dot TV - the Internet TV guys. I met their guy, Steve Masters in the press room yesterday and he scrounged a lift off me to the start at Obernai with his camera man, James.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 4: Stage 1, Strasbourg...

Sunday in Strasbourg, stage one-a day for the sprinters. It was quite late when I got to sleep, I had a coffee in the hotel after I came in from my pizza place, it was too strong for a wimp like me late at night and my efforts to nod-off were also seriously hampered by demented French men driving around Strasbourg blowing their car horns all night.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 3: Strasbourg Prologue

Another good sleep, alarm at 06:00 and straight into the shower, shave, jump into shorts and a T-shirt then down to the car and haul the bike out, stick the wheels in, blow the tyres up, run over it with a baby wipe [they work great] and we’re off to the Strasbourg Prologue.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 2: Prologue Parcours Recce,...

I walked in to the press room this morning and one of the guys from French radio told me that Ulrich and Sevilla were gone - sent home by T-Mobile due to their involvement in Operacion Puerto, the Spanish drugs bust. Le Tour de France 2006.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 1: The Operation Puerto...

The Operation Puerto bombshell has gone off - we just received a communiqué -Tour organisers defy Court of Arbitration in Sport and Astana Wurth DO NOT start 2006 Tour de France! If you are ever asked at a pub quiz how far it is from Kirkcaldy to Strasbourg, the answer is 915 miles -- if you go via Calais, Reims and Metz that is.I left Kirkcaldy at 7.30 pm last night and was waiting to board my ferry out of Dover exactly eight hours and 527 miles later.

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