Tuesday March 10 was one of those days when the cat wouldn’t go outside. Had it been foolish enough to do so, it would probably have blown away or more likely, drowned. On England’s south coast huge waves battered the shoreline while in Western France the powerful storm ran a large freighter aground.

Weather 1

As commuters struggled with their umbrellas as they crossed London Bridge and winds reached 150Kph in France, Reuters Bucharest photographer Bogdan Cristel was climbing on the back of a 1000cc Honda Varadero to cover the first stage of the Paris-Nice cycling classic.

ship

Bogdan has never covered a pro cycle race before and because he will be part of our team covering the month-long 2008 Tour de France cycle classic,

Brollies

we had decided that this was a suitable event to get some training in with our professional motorcyclist Jacques Clawey. The idea was good – it just turned out to be the wrong day to do it.

Bog 1

In fact the wind was blowing so hard and the rain so heavy that the race organizers were obliged to shorten the 200kms stage to some 60kms, ferrying the cyclists by bus for much of it.