A big round HOT sun was in the sky, and it was early yet. We had spent the rest day visiting Bern and following the team press conferences. There wasn't much to say really: Bauke Mollema was determined to defend his podium place and ready to attack as far as possible. So probably no, but he had to.
Chris Froome was calm, modest and smiling. No problem for him, a lot of confidence and a very strong team.
The next day we packed our stuff and went straight to the start, at the Bern Expo. Not a nice place, not a fresh place. A large place, that's true.
The signing podium was far away but we found a good place at the barriers where the riders were going to line up. I took some pictures, my son was wandering around. Everybody had signed and now they came closer, waiting for the start. The heat was awful.
Alejandro Valverde was hanging next to me so I had the chace listen his conversation with a Spanish fan.
"Alejandro! I'm Miguel! do you recognise me?" they guy exclamed, "Mhm... yeah... sure!" Valverde said, not so sure but friendly. They talked a little then the guy asked: "What about Quintana? is he going to win?", and the Mursian was: "Hardly. It's hard." He sounded zen.
Not far from him there was Mikel Nieve, one of my favourite riders, so I called him: "Nieve! Nieve! MIKEL!". He didn't hear at first or ignored me, he looked very focused and I didn't mean to disturb. But he rised his head, that was bent on the handlebar, and responded by a little shy smile. Mikel Nieve is one of the best climbers in the world but down to earth and ready to work all day for its team leader. Nevertheless in Heuskal Herria he's a hero.
Chris Froome looked good in Yellow, as well as Peter Sagan in Green, his long hair gathered under the helmet. Rafal Majka in Polka Dot Jersey and Adam Yates in White Jersey completed the first row with Fabian Cancellara, at his last Tour.
The last shots and off they are. The last shots and off WE are! Both, the race and Us, we have to cover the long route from Bern to Martigny and then to climb the mountain untill the dam in Emosson. They riding their bikes, us by train and cableway. It's a challenge!
We grabbed two sanwitches and we ran to the rail station.
MORE TO COME