Dan Lloyd's busman's holiday at the Tour
You'd expect your Millars, Farrars, Hushovds and Zabriskies to be hanging around the Garmin-Cervélo team bus at this year's Tour de France, but one unexpected face at the stage six start in Dinan was that of British, and Garmin, pro Dan Lloyd.
Lloyd rode last year's Tour de France for the Cervélo Test Team, which merged ahead of this season with Garmin to create the new super-squad, and which has already won two stages at this year's Tour.
But although Lloyd was not along for the ride this time, he did stop by to say hello - seeing as he was in the area, on holiday with his family.
The team's two stage wins - the team time trial on stage two, and Tyler Farrar's sprint victory the next day - plus Thor Hushovd's spell in the yellow jersey have impressed Lloyd.
"It's been amazing for them, and couldn't have really gone any more to plan," he told Cycling Weekly. "The English-speaking people who own the gîte we're staying in have got ITV4, so I've been doing a bit of training in the morning and then watching the racing in the afternoon."
Was it strange for him to be here, but not to be here as part of the race?
"It's much nicer being on the other side of it, but it inspires you to be back in it in the future," Lloyd said. "It's so difficult at this time of year, in this team, to get into the squad of just nine guys, but it's definitely something I want to work towards again in the future. This is where it's at, isn't it?"
Lloyd struggled through last year's Tour - his first - having received a rather late call-up after Heinrich Haussler's withdrawal due to a knee injury made a berth available.
"I had a few problems doing the Tour last year, and it wasn't the easiest to get through," Lloyd admitted, having ridden the French race on the back of what was a very tough Tour of Italy. "But the Tour is the pinnacle of the sport, and something I want to come back and do."
Turning his attention to his race programme this year, Lloyd said he hoped to have a strong second half of the season.
"At this point last year I'd done the Classics, the Giro, the Dauphiné and then I was at the Tour, so after that I had already mentally finished my season," he explained. "My last race this season was the national championships, and I'm probably not racing again until late July or even early August, so I'm training fairly hard at the moment. I'm really motivated to have a good end to the season."
For now, though, it's all about enjoying the rest of his family holiday - and watching the rest of the Tour on ITV4 from the other side of the screen.
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Tour de France 2011: Official start list
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Tour de France 2011: Team guide
Tour de France 2011: Stage reports
Stage six: Boasson Hagen takes Sky's first Tour de France win
Stage five: Cavendish wins in Cap Frehel
Stage four: Evans edges out Contador on the Mur-de-Bretagne
Stage three: Farrar sprints to first Tour victory in Redon
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Stage one: Gilbert blasts to victory as Tour gets off to spectacular start
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Stage six video highlights
Video: Erik Zabel's role as Cavendish's sprint advisor
Stage five video highlights
Stage four video highlights
Stage three video highlights
Stage two video highlights
Stage one video highlights
Tour de France 2011: Photo galleries
Stage 6 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage four photo gallery by Andy Jones
Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Andy Jones
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2011 team time trial training photo gallery by Andy Jones
Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Andy Jones
Tour de France 2011 team press conferences by Andy Jones
Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2011: Live text coverage
Tour de France 2011 LIVE: CW's text coverage schedule
Tour de France 2011: Archive videos
Video: 2003 Centenary Tour
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Video: The Indurain years
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Tour de France 2011: TV schedule
British Eurosport Tour de France 2011 TV schedule
ITV4 Tour de France 2011 TV schedule
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Potted history of the Tour de France
The closest Tours in history
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins
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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
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