A reader who’s part of the Tour entourage has been in touch with the following information about the rest day.
No rest: the town is heaving with tourists, I suspect riders wanting a quiet day will be holed up in their hotel rooms. The festival of local produce, the band music and the big crowds are not really restful.
It doesn’t rain, it pours: Armstrong’s crashed, Kloeden’s cracked and now it seems even the Radioshack team vehicles have broken down (see picture).
Earlybirds: Lampre were the first team to hit the roads for a recovery ride.
More recovery than ride: Tyler Farrar and a couple of team mates only rode a few thousand metres before turning round and heading back home. No surprise since the freckled fastman has a fractured wrist.
Just the two of us: after pedalling down to a romantic Alpine lake as a team, Astana’s Vinokourov and Contador went off to prolong their recover ride together whilst the other team riders went home.
Smile for the camera: several teams had their recovery ride filmed by the media keen to fill the void in TV race images.
Grumpy old man: Caisse d’Epargne’s Christophe Moreau is one of the oldest riders in the bunch. He criticised the youth of today when a downhill mountainbiker in full body armour rode past him and then turned right across his path, cutting him up. By the sounds of things Moreau needs more rest.
You go your way, I’ll go mine: Mark Cavendish rode with his own following car on the recovery ride whilst a minute behind the rest of the HTC-Columbia rolled by with their own support vehicle. Not sure why.
Forza Italia: missing the main team rides, some Kathusha riders joined up with a couple of Liquigas riders for a short spin.
Bodyguard: Jerome Pineau rode separately from his team mates, Italian team mate Franceso Reda was dispatched to ride with the Tour King of the Mountains.
Caffe latte: Milram riders rode down the valley only for a trio to sit in a shady café for an hour whilst the rest rode home. Apparently a car was despatched to find out where the trio had gone.
Cyclosportive: several teams were accompanied on their recovery rides by local riders and holidaymakers. Caisse d’Epargne seemed to attract many riders for some reason.
Siege: whilst some teams welcomed visitors, handing out cards, hats, bottles and more to anyone curious enough to approach them, the Radioshack hotel was blockaded first by a ring of journalist’s cars, presumably awaiting the lastest voice recordings and then by a ring of tape to keep the public away.
German tourist: doll-faced Linus Gerdemann was spotted riding around Morzine in only his shorts, socks and shoes. Even the bibs were rolled down.
Dumb idea of the day: the entire BBox team riding up to Avoriaz. It’s supposed to be a recovery ride, not a hill climb.
Who said it was a quiet day on the Tour?