Stage one of this years Tour de France was a 15km Individual Time Trial around the narrow winding streets of Monaco. Being that it was the first stage I thought it was going to be VERY popular and the entire circuit packed. This was definately the case in 2007 when I was in London. But I was completely wrong. I got in to Monaco at around 10:30am and walked to the 2km mark and there was basically no one. Awesome.

It stayed that way for the entire day. I had freedom to move around, get up and walk around a bit. This was luxury compared to London 2007. The sponsor caravane came around a few hours later and because it was stage one and there also wasnt anyone around me I got a shitload of free stuff. Now the majority of stuff they throw out is crap, just sponsor stuff like magnets and pens etc. But one thing, a Gilligan style hat sponsored by the car maker Skoda was something I was really annoyed I didnt get in 2007. This time I have ended up with SEVEN by STAGE ONE. I also scored four tshirts, four other hats, a crapload of Haribo lollies and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Once that show was over it was time for the riders to come out. All the top ranked riders come out at the end but Lance was coming out quite early because he doesnt really have a current ranking anymore. There were a few American women near me who asked ‘can you let us know when Lance is coming’. I told them ‘trust me, you will know’. And they did know. You could hear the cheering for him from a hundred meters away. Ive been waiting many many years to see him race and I finally have and it was fantastic.

The rest of the riders came and went and I got shots of them all as well. Once it was over I just made my way back to the train station to catch it back to Nice. A lot easier said than done. About five billion other people were trying to do the same thing. I think the train I was on had about twenty carriages, it was massive. Eventually got back though so all was good.