Procycling magazine invited Nigel Roberts, Brian Buckle and Bob Wade of Trek UK.
And also along for the ride were Renny Stirling of East Coast Distribution, Bob Chicken, Carlton Reid of BikeBiz (not, it must be added, much of an advertiser in Procycling), Andrew Brabazon of Cycle 2003, and Jonathan Buckley and Roger Barnes of Rough Guides.
Representing Procycling were the two James’: Warren and Poole. Editor Jeremy Whittle joined the entourage for the slap-up evening meal at Le Petit Zinc on the Parisian Left Bank but was otherwise engaged during the day.
Thanks to their intimate knowledge of who’s who at ASO, organisers of the Tour de France, the Procycling boys whisked their invited guests into the Tour de France Club VIP area at the end of the Champs de Mars, right on the finish line of Saturday’s prologue.
It was in this fenced-off compound that many former Tour winners congregated.
And thanks to the many photographs digitally snapped by BikeBiz, Bob Chicken was mistaken for a former Tour winner himself.
After delicious champagne and canapes served by equally delicious young hostesses, the Procycling party decamped to a nearby cafe.
Large beers were ordered. Very large.
And the falling down juice flowed freely at the restaurant too.
Whilst some of the guests, sensibly, later sloped away in a taxi for an early night, the remaining phalanx wandered across to a jazz cafe. The female singer was wonderful: and so she ought, the beer was 15Euros a bottle…
It’s a hard life. Vive Le Tour de France!
Top: In the VIP compounds you get rather close to the action.
Below1: Bob Chicken, left, and James Poole
Below2: Renny ‘Orbea-spotting’ Stirling
Below3: Bob Wade, James Poole and Nigel Roberts