New city, new riders and a new adventure. Now we're in Tehran, the 17 million people city of Iran, were the rich live up north cuddled up against the mountains, and the poor in the south where the dry desert sets in. Where 3 million people traverse for work in the city every day. Where the smog is like a scrubby blanket lying over the valley because of the millions of cars.
(but some say it's from the sand, blowing in from the desert)
All of a sudden, Tour of Azerbaijan seemes like heaven.
The stages in the tour are very different from those of last week. They are all in and around Tehran, so we can actually unpack our bags and settle down a bit. But it does mean a lot of transfers to and from start and finish points. Luckily the organisation got a few dirt trucks to transport dozens of 3000+ euro bikes...
With two new fresh riders (Vincent and Robin), and a new team manager (Jos) we are all ready to go. After one week of being an assistent team manager I was confident enough to inform Jos ( a very experienced teammanager in Holland, but with no Iranian experience) a little about the whereabouts of an Iranian cyling tour. I don't know if it was of any help, but it was nice acting like an interim manager for a few days. After the prologue (8 k's) and the first stage (16 rounds around the Azadi Stadium) I leave the guys to get their own banana's and yoghurt and to clean the bikes themselves, because I'm off to the Persian Gulf!