• When was the last time a crowd like this turned out for a Tour Opener – or anything for that matter…?
• With Big Ben about to chime in, the Rabo boys took their lap of honour around Trafalgar Square.
• The Brits do love a ceremony, and pulled out all stops to present one fitting of Le Tour.
• Somehow it just wouldn’t be Britain without a traditional pub, lager louts, kilts and CSC jerseys…
• The teams each rode a lap of the square to the roar of the huge crowd and Herr Zabel got an impromptu Happy Birthday sung to him.
• There’s the French Champion – Christophe Moreau… with all these
riders turning up it really must be true, the Tour is about to start in London.
• Probably the most hyped rider you’ll find in London, Mr.Bradley Wiggins
looked totally in control as he led out the Cofidis team – can he turn the hype into reality? If he does his legend will be assured in the UK.
• The Clouds miraculously cleared after weeks of the torrential stuff – hopefully a good sign for a great Tour ahead. The youngest rider in the race, Welshman Geraint Thomas at 21, found himself the centre of attention – just imagine what it will be like if he makes it to Paris.
• The other Brit that everyone is pinning hopes on is Manxman Mark
Cavendish whose sprinting palmares have got to put him in with a chance
of a stage, but it will have to come early because he’s reported to have said he’s only here for experience and will retire after ten days, I wonder if a stage win would change his mind?
• Enough about the Brits we want some ‘homies’ – stone the crows cor blimey, Mary Poppins it’s George in his glorious jersey, gawd bless you son.
• Vino – the man pegged with the best odds by UniBet.com.
• Add a Belgium who lives in Monaco – Tom Boonen was looking pensive
probably knowing he’s got to deliver the goods soon. Only wins will do
• Teams tested their skills for tomorrow on the twisting ramps leading onto the stage. FDJ had no trouble adjusting to riding on the left side of the road.
• Each of the teams was introduced on the center stage, and the Liquigas riders won the unofficial hat toss.
• And just for good measure (and because our city is one of the most
cosmopolitan in the world) chuck in a Viking – wait a minute I thought
Bjarne Riis wasn’t coming? Maybe like us he got into the private CSC
party without the bouncers noticing him.
Cheers, here’s to the next three weeks.