Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Marseilles, FRA Jan 30

Marseilles, FRA
January 30, 2006

Yesterday was quite a ruckus. We drove from Girona to some French place that I don’t recall the name of. It was in the mountains, quite cold, & covered in eight inches of snow. It’s famous for its castle. We got in at around 3:00am, then left at 9:30am and now were here. Quite a lot of driving. I was in the car with Johnny, he was very serious about getting to where we were going, and I doubt the speedometer ever left 140 km. The team cars this year are Renault Laguna’s, diesel, but very capable in a 6 speed manual. They look a lot like Dodge Magnums, the station wagon kind. Everyone drives Renaults around here.
So far my impression of France is very similar to that of Hemmingway’s, France is a dirty place. Every surface that could be dirtied by graffiti is, and the place in general looks a bit run down. The mountains around us are very nice though, I guess these are the Pyrenees, fairly rolling, not so jagged- though there are some interesting formations that you don’t find in the cascades, looks like something tried to get out from inside the mountain.
I hear this is the bad part of town, but the graffiti has been on stuff since we entered France. I think the “run-down ness” will improve, but general French attitude will stay the same, which is dirty…

Jan 31
Tomorrow’s the first race of a five day stage race. All the big (super pro) teams are here, it’s gonna be a show down… Of note: CSC, T-mobile, Credit Agricole, AG2R, Lotto, FD-Jeux, & Cofidis. Then the other continental and D2 teams.
Also, check out the team bio on, for some reason they haven't done the 2006 site on the team' home page yet: