Luke Evans is motorbike driver for top cycling photographer Graham Watson at the Dauphine Libere. Aside from piloting motorbikes, Luke is an author, freelance journalist and former editor of Cycle Sport magazine. A selection of Graham’s photos can be seen in our gallery section.
Wednesday 11 June, Stage three, St Paul en Jarez, 31 km
It’s unpredictable, the weather around here. We stopped to fill up on the way to the time trial and it was warm and bright. A few minutes further west and we drove into a cloudburst, the roads were instantly flooded and it was too late to stop and put on waterproofs.
I thought it would be a shower and I would soon dry out. Wrong. It continued raining after the start and made the 31 km hilly and technical TT course treacherous. Only the last dozen or so riders caught a glimpse of the sun and drying roads.
Graham and I sheltered in the team bag wagon, an ancient Volvo estate we are sharing with L’Equipe: Fred (photos) and Marc (moto) and which is driven by a piano playing 75 year old, Bernard. If there is a piano in a hotel he will play it, and he’s really good.
Graham took photos on the last corner so I had a day off, just tried to dry out my stuff and watched the race in the press room. Andy Jones was out on the course and reported back how hard the second climb was. Second gear in the car and you had to keep your foot down or it would stall.
Cadel Evans’ TT bike. Photo by Andy Jones
We looked at his side-on shots of Cadel Evans’ all black Ridley TT bike, which is relatively new. It has a Cervelo-type faired seat tube which follows the line of the rear wheel and the rear brake is behind the bottom bracket. The fork looks like a split Oval Concept design but is just heavily grooved.
The aero bars are by Oval and the front brake is behind the forks and does not look like a Campag item, more like a Zero Gravity type. Cables are internally routed to the rear derailleur and there’s a guide above the bottom bracket to route the cable for the front changer. Evans was running a Campag Bora Ultra front wheel and white Ghibli rear disc. Cadel also has blue jockey wheels which may have ceramic bearings.
Andy likes it, I reckon it looks a bit unco-ordinated with a too long carbon spar between the head tube and top and down tubes.
PREVIOUS DAUPHINE BLOGS
Tuesday, stage two: Moto pilot Luke sees Hincapie win
Monday, stage one: Luke spots some prototype gear and talks to Charly Wegelius
Sunday, prologue: Moto pilot Luke is back in action after the Giro