I’d struck gold and managed to get a work assignment in Geneva at the back of last week and stayed the weekend to ride in the Alps and then watch the Dauphiné prologue in the smart lakeside town of Evian.
First up, you’ve seen Didi Senf, the roadside Devil, who is a fixture at bike races with his trident. You might have also seen The Angel and maybe a few Borat impersonators in their fluo mankinis. I bring you The Bee:
You’ll find race reports all over the internet, here are some random observations from the day:
- Contador and Millar were riding the course as part of their warm-up whilst the race was on. I’m not sure if this was allowed but Contador was visibly faster than other riders even during his warm-up
- Geraint Thomas looked very smooth on the hill, others were grinding and rolling but the Welshman was solid as a rock
- You can tell when a Spanish rider is coming because the DS in the following car is screaming “venga, venga” over the megaphone
- Curiously the Milram riders, Germans, were encouraged in French with an “allez, allez“
- You could tell the riders who’d done the Giro, they were far more tanned than others
- Some riders were having trouble with their gears on the hill, trying to climb out of the saddle, then they’d sit to change gear using the shifter on the end of the tri-bars and then stand. Having electronic shifting, with two controls, on the tri-bars and near the brake levers, makes a real difference to your momentum.
- On the descent to the finish the tyres of following cars were screeching round the bend just to keep up with the riders
- The Radioshack team bus looks pretty old – no wonder it breaks down in the Pyrenees – and the Astana bus has some moss growing on the roof
- People say Team Sky have some nice cars but Footon-Servetto has a fleet of Audi S6 team cars