We left Montpellier before the sun was up and good thing, since it was a cooker today. I had planned to try and take the side roads as far as possible, but gave up around Arles and hopped on the highway. From there we rode, heads bobbing left and right from the wind, all the way to Cannes (NOT pronounced ‘cans’ for my North American friends…). Checked in, caught a train that eventually got us to the principality of Monaco, and fought the crowds to get a decent seat near the finish line of today’s 15 km time trial.
We had a long, long wait, but had a big video of Bridgit Bardo’s life, an hour or so of the ‘caravan’ (a moving advertisement for everything from banks to laundry detergent), and the fat woman fainting a few rows in front of us…the time passed quickly.
Then the riders started. In a time trial the cyclists start one after another in 1-3 minute intervals. The best are usually reserved for last, but for some reason Astana decided to have Lance and Levi begin in the first ten or so riders. I never got a shot of either, but here’s one guy (with support car trailing) coming into the last turns of the course.
During toilet breaks Shoko snapped some shots of riders leaving the starting ramp (behind the stands we were in).
And that was that. Cancellera won the time trial by slaughtering the rest of the field. Lance came in a respectable tenth, and the other usual suspects filled in the rest of the top ten.
Stay tuned, stage two coming up when I finish work!