Back to the stage… would Sir Froome be usurped? Would Contador rally to the cries of his supporters (as witnessed by the author)? Would Tejay look like he was interested? The day was hot, the wind was calm as the colours, cars and bikes positioned to take on the first 5km circuit of a track more accustomed to the exhaust fumes of supercharged engines and burning rubber. On exit, up a brutal climb, the riders launched themselves, perhaps channeling the history of the area which has seen more changes in administration than a Trump White House.