Rest day in Le Rouget i found the HTC mechanics beavering away preparing the team bikes for the next week of action . Earlier in Aurillac i was at the LeClerc Supermarche and saw the Soigneurs filling three Carts with goodies for the team . Whilst talking with the mechanics the HT C Team Racers arrived back from their training ride . Greeted most by name and watched several weighing their bikes . Interestingly Mark's Mc Laren bike came up as 7.4 kg ! Mark then proceeded to strip the handle bar tape , something he does himself as he said he changes the tape regularly . Now the owner of the old tape but not sure which bike it goes on as yet . Some years ago in Albertville before the depart Of the Dauphine Libere i acquired "Tom Boonen's Tapes that i still use on the " Porsche Carbon bike " .
Later after relating the story about my letter to Pat Mc Quaid i found Mark and Peta enjoying a few moments together and after permission i made the photo that you see here .
AT Les Essarts the Thursday before the Grand Depart i came across a vindictive/aggrieved one eyed "SKY Team " supporter , who contended Mark was nothing without his " train " ! WELL pal chew on friday's victory "sans train " ! Wiggins your " hero " is regretably home and " King Cav " continues to defy those who try to belittle his efforts !
Many in the media and on the side of the road deride Mark because he doesn't get off the bike to greet or spend time with them but i can tell you that up close and personal he is as easy to talk to as Jens Voight and Juan Flecha ! Fact is the guy concentrates when on the bike and does not perpetually wear a smile like Chris Horner who regretably is on the way home also .
Mark's team mates are all approachable and i enjoyed a chat with Mark Renshaw whilst he was in the supermarket opposite my car as i rearranged everything in the car to accomodate the third bike which you will find more about on "skippi-cyclist " !