We arrived downtown in the late morning to stake our place in the press room and prepare for what would be a great day of sport.
Hans Christian Andersen oversees proceedings, just yards from the start/finish; will it be a fairy tale for Tony ?
Or will Big Bad Wolf Fabian have him for dinner ?
We’ll know around 17:00 CET – with around an hour until Azzedine Lagab rolls down the ramp as first man, for Algeria, it’s cold, grey and very windy on the streets of Copenhagen.
But the forecast is worse; rain for the last ‘wave’ of 16 riders – including all of the favourites.
Michael Morkov and his Specialized Shiv are in the tent, readying themselves for the effort – he’s off number five, but maybe no bad thing given the weather forecast.
Meanwhile – up the Slovakian pits they’ve not been keeping up with those pesky UCI regs!
Where’s that hacksaw ?
No such worries for team GB – where Wiggins’ and Millar’s bikes look more like something out of ‘Starwars’ each time I see them.
Down at the start house our Algerian chum is DNS, so the first man to face the time keeper is Albania’s Tyron Giorgieri; just as a couple of dollops of Baltic rain splash on my bald head.
Michael Morkov is sixth down the ramp, the crowd warm to their Homeboy as we head off to explore the parcours.
The S Bahn train swishes us up to Svanemollen in no time; it’s exposed up here, wide boulevards with no big buildings to dilute the wind – good for Martin and Cancellara.
Michael hurtles past, he’s caught and dropped his 90 second man – the Slovak, Polievka.
And the second wave are on the road, Matt Brammeier storms past for Ireland, he’s with QuickStep for 2012 and will be wanting to ‘show’ for Mr. Lefevre.
And we have to take a quick diversion off the course, to the Tuborgflasken – a 26 metre high Tuborg bottle which has been there since 1888 – we thought you’d like it.
Back to work – but first, some lunch, a hotdog and a beer will do fine.
Wave three, the names are getting bigger – Stef Clement and Ignatas Konovalovas are giving it full gas as their tyres howl in protest.
Back on the S Bahn to see another section of the course.
Lovely parkland; the statues say nothing but the red wine drinkers up in their apartment are finding it all very entertaining as Rabon looks for edge.
The soldiers are on guard down at the Royal Palace but Utah stage winner Jack Bauer has no time for formality as he bludgeons that Look across the cobble and is gone.
Time to get to the finish, but not before we snap the opera house, across the harbour.
Beautiful Nyhavn with it’s cafes and sailing ships – but Svein Tuft has no time for sight seeing.
The last wave – Grabsch flies, Larsson isn’t ‘on’ but Wiggins is, high cadence, streamlined, poetry in motion.
We battle the crowds towards the last kilometre.
Westra thinks it’s a kermis; Millar’s style is poetic and he’s going well, up on Ignatyev – but what’s that noise ?
I grab a shot but I’m stunned, the speed of the man – he’s going to catch David.
And Cancellara is down !
The crowd is massive but we make the finish.
Bobridge battles across the line, 55:57 – hot seat !
Long term leader Dyachenko goes second – make that third, Grabsch 55:15, new leader !
Martin is on fire, he’s caught Millar and Ignatyev – he’s bearing down on Phinney for 4:30.
Wiggins, he’s killing himself, 54:59 – new leader !
Olympic silver medallist Larsson is nowhere.
The American commentator has seen too many ‘Starwars’ movies, he keeps talking about the ‘Darkside’ that the riders are within.
Wiggins, Grabsch, Bobridge is the story – the camera goes to Cancellara; he’s taking the risks . . .
Westra comes home, 57 – that’s two minutes too slow to matter, today.
Cancellara fills the screen, again – but it’s not ‘King Fab’ up there
Fuglsang comes home with a 57 – here’s Porte, a 56.
It’s still Brad, Bert and Jack.
Phinney comes home to another 57, they’re common or garden, today
Here he comes, rolled in a ball, that man wants this race so bad – he’s empty but sits up, blows kisses to the crowd, hands high – 53:43.
Cancellara over cooks it on a bend, Millar drives in to a 56 – a good ride, but good isn’t good enough on this day.
Cancellara comes in – bronze!
If only Fab hadn’t hit that fence, PEZ would have called it perfectly – we had Martin, Cancellara, Wiggins.
Hans Christian will be smiling for sure.