After watching this race from it's inception I've never missed a stage. Sometimes I don't see the start...I rarely see the finish as I'm more of a 1km to go man but today there was a pub just past the finish line which seemed like an ideal spot to while away the time while i waited for the TDU warriors to finish. And they were warriors...I didn't push it (much) today and I'm rooted!!
This is my second beer of the day after cruising up Norton Summit Road in the granny ring....and no, someone hasn't just thrown a bucket of water over me.
After wisely deciding to not attempt the originally planned 11 pubs due to inclement weather I jumped back on the Trek and headed over to the scene of todays battle and found a spot near the 1km to go banner by chance...it was in a spot that rarely gets sun and is always cool...local knowledge, this is where I do my paramedic stuff.
But HTC were making sure they could keep Greipel in ochre.
I needed a beer after that so I cruised down the road to the Aldgate Pump hotel and caught up with the mates. Everyone...but everyone was tipping Alejandro Valverde to win in the pub, there was a guy running a book who'd have been shitting bricks when they came past the next time...Caisse D'Espargne in full flight. I was trying to work out the pecking order in the Caisse train to see if my man Jose was being saved but it was he and Guitterez that were driving it....Alejandro. lay down misere!
The party on the far side of the road is a group of Americans who came here last year to support you know who and are back again...we drank wine.
Yay!!! the hormones are kicking in....she wanted me...I know she did :-)
So...I ended up in a pub above the finish line chatting to a cute chick and missed the finish but managed to get some just ace shots of the guys after they had finished...they looked knackered!!
This guy seemed pretty happy though...good job I warned him about that grate in the city the other day!!
Cardrosa blitzed em. I think Valverde thought he had it won and didn't even see Cardrosa until it was too late. Evans just couldn't not race could he...he was trying to beat Alejandro. Fantastic rides by Sagan...who looks like getting a white jersey sometime soon me thinks, and Luke Roberts who is having an awesome race. Rogers looked sharp and most of the big names finished in the small main bunch that were given a second behind the clear winner. Some guys were clearly hurting, Stuey looked like a ghost..I couldn't even snap him. Jack B was all wobbly and one of the Liquigas guys finished but timed out...kids on trikes were passing him as he bravely finished.
Another beer....Oh go on then. But as soon as it was downed I was off down the road to see who wanted my wheel. Ahhh...the FDJ boys have come out to play. Hooter and Arty Vichot tried to hold my wheel but when they couldn't they sent young Cherel down the road to anchor me...tut tut!!
Cocky young upstart tried to pass me on my home downhill so I had a word with him....in French of course.
But...as mere mortals once again, we all had to stop for the lights before making our way back into the city for another beer or three.
There may be no Flatbagger report tomorrow. I'm riding the Challenge and have to be up at some ungodly hour to ride to Goolwa with about 8000 other dudes. Then i gotta get back somehow for a masters crit race at Norwood...at this stage it looks like I'm riding back so my only view of the peleton will be as I'm riding home. After 300km if I've got legs left for the sprint I'll buy myself a beer.
I'm gonna concentrate my cameras hard drive on the chickie babes Crit tomorrow night...drool drool!