"Everything is good?" I say to the bonnie Spanish lass who checks the Yaris back into the hire-bay after the Saunier Duval Team launch; "Yes, have a good trip," she smiles. "Thank you", I reply, patting the trusty can of cutting-compound in my bag as I skip towards the terminal. She wouldn't have said that if she'd seen it after the boy skelped it with the Jeep on Tuesday.
It's 6.30 pm and there's more pics being taken around the pool here at the Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007, somebody is late and the photographer isn't happy 'cos he's lost the light. Enthusiasm isn't high: a six hour run saw to that today. It's another six hour job tomorrow too.
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.
Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007. I got my SRAM piece away first thing this morning then ambled down for breakfast and to see if I could find Virginie, she's the Saunier PR girl - I met her at the Tour - she's a nice lass. I asked about interviews; "maybe tonight, but certainly tomorrow."
The alarm goes at 03.45, and it's almost painful. Davie arrives bang-on 04.45 and we're off to Glasgow in the Peugeot, the roads are a bit slippery and Dave makes things more interesting by driving with dipped head lights all the time; even when there's nothing coming in the opposite direction.
One of VeloVeritas’ functions it seems is unlocking the memories of those stalwarts – like our own mentor and soothsayer, Viktor and indeed, our editor Martin - who beat a path in the 70’s and 80’s to the legendary Mrs. Deene’s boarding house in Gent (and later in Zomergem) to show those Belgies how it should be done. The latest epistle which came our way was from Norman Gower.
When Scottish Cycling Endurance Coach and seven times Scottish Road Race Champion, Evan Oliphant gets in touch to tell us there’s a junior rider named Callum Thornley that we should be speaking to, we snap to attention.
When Jos Ryan of the David Rayner Fund gets in touch then we know it’s not just to ask how we are. ‘Have you been keeping up with our rider, Toby Perry’s performances in Spain, he’s just had his second win?’ Fortunately for us, we could reply in the affirmative.
If you watched Stage One of the Giro on Eurosport or GCN then you’ll have heard that someone had the great idea to recruit British professional rider, Dan Bigham to join the commentary team as a ‘chrono specialist.’ Here at VeloVeritas we thought it would be good to put to Dan all those sad questions that trouble bike obsessives like us.
John Watson started racing at 18 years-of-age in 1966, his first race was a ‘25’ which he won with a 1:00. By the following year he was National ‘100’ Champion; in 1968 he went to the Mexico Olympics; in 1969 he set a 12 hour record which stood for a decade; 1970 saw him set a ‘50’ record which sliced nearly four minutes of the previous fastest time for the distance and lasted for 13 years, win the BBAR, get fourth place in the prestigious GP de France time trial and get offered a place with ACBB.