But the stars of the show were three intrepid technical crewmen. About half an hour before the race started they realised that a manhole cover in the middle of the road was loose; indeed every time a car went over it there was a loud clank. Would this pose a threat, perhaps send fifty of the world's top cyclists into an undignified heap of twisted metal and frayed shirts? The first thing was to inspect the problem and the boffins did not take too long before trying out the cure for all such ills - a bit of gaffer tape.
They tested it and it still wasn't right so what better than a bit more?
Job done, take a break fellers as the breakaway whizz around during lap 1.