Nearly three years prior to Tomekke and his Dutch lieutenant Niki doing this very same thing at Roubaix, Jamesy and I were rehearsing the perfect 'just too strong' imperceptible escape from the lead group as we rode across Northern France. Clearly not the Hell of the North though, with its muddy cobbled farm tracks, but instead well-tarmacked smooth straight roads across extremely flat and sheltered farmland further west on Day Three of our 2009 A Travers La France trip. So straight in fact that there was absolutely no danger in (a) us riding close up behind the van, then overtaking it, and (b) Steve sitting on the roof and then inside the the van filming it. The link above already has a bit of footage, but here's a compilation courtesy of Jamesy which extends the clip and adds some music. Given our shared history, I'm surprised it wasn't Gimme Shelter by the Stones, but then again a bunch of 40-something has-beens poncing around on expensive bikes in gorgeous sunshine doesn't really jibe with "Ooo, storm is threatening, my very life today ..."
So, absolutely 100% just like the winning move in Paris-Roubaix 2012 then, eh? We can dream, can't we? And isn't great how a bit of fake tan can make you look just a little bit pro ...
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