Marseilles, FRA Jan 30
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…
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 cyclingnews.com, for some reason they haven't done the 2006 site on the team' home page yet: