Dennis Menchov made a spectacular finish to last years tour.
I vividly remember Cadel bonking on stage 17 after just pulling on the Maglia Rosa....
Everyone wants to know what is the difference between the Cadel of old,
and the NEW Cadel....
Only Cadel can tell.
I'm not going to pretend I know who will win. I don't care who wins, I just love the spectacle and the unpredicability. The names change, but the racing is always great.
SBS has highlights at 8.30pm!
I went to my first Cycle Messenger World Championships in 2002. They were held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
88 (with the Condor) was the first courier I'd met who owned a track bike. I pulled alongside him on Picaddilly and took the piss out his gearless bike. Just as I proffered 'Can't you afford gears'? I was dropped like Pettachi in the mountains by this bike with ONE gear which tore up the street. I didn't even know what 'fixed' meant, but if it was that fast I was going to find out.
Back to the story. 88 and I decided we weren't going to miss out on this opportunity to go to our first 'Worlds'.
Landing in Copenhagen our bikes arrived off the plane as pictured (note the compressor to inflate tyres).
Just as we stepped outside the airport door, 88's tyre deflated. I only had spare 26" tubes, and no patches, 88 had neither patch nor tube. We were stuck.
Having landed in the bike friendly country that Denmark is, at the exit to the airport was a bike rack 200m long. Jammed full of bikes. 88 looked at the bikes, looked at me, and I knew exactly what was coming next. He strolled down the line of bikes, picking what he thought would be the most inconspicuos bike, removed the front wheel, and trundled back to his bike. Removing the tube from his newly acquired wheel he quickly installed it in place of his, and put the dud tube in the acquired wheel. Fixed!
Just as he was about to go back to the bike with the wheel, two airport police approached us.
'We have just had a report that someone had taken a bike from the racks. Did you see anyone do such things?
'Ah, ok. I see you have a spare wheel? Do you always carry spare wheel?
'Erm, uh, yis (88 is Kiwi).'
'Ok. Can I see your passports.'
We hand them over, they walk away and get on their two-way.
I look at 88 and we both know the game is up, so he approaches them with the real story.
'Tut tut tut. Well if you replace the bike as you find it, then we give you back your passports'.
We breath a heavy sigh of relief.
Just as 88 is about to return to the bike THE most beautiful girl in all of Denmark procedes down the line of bikes.
She stops. Pulls out her bike, but the front wheel is missing....
The police approach her with the story and tell her she can press charges if she wishes. We were both numbed by her beauty and 88's stupidity to respond, thankfully she thought that was unnecesary.
After repairing HER wheel and seeing her ride into the distance the police suggested we take the train in to the city 'and make sure you purchase a ticket'.
That was Denmark - and we hadn't even been in the country an hour.
The first night was the bike jump. The beater had a length of rope affixed to the rear stay to reclaim it after rider would send themself sailing through the air into the river. Check out AZ on the right snapping the pic.