After all the scandal of the previous couple of TdF days (who didn’t see the Rasmussen thing coming? Contador next, I tell ya), here’s something to smile about.
He is well in front of the 152 remaining riders (189 set off from London) in the three-week long Tour. In fact, he is 24 hours ahead as he has been along the entire route so far.
Mr Bream, however, will not be sporting any yellow jersey for winning this or any other stage of the prestigious race. Nor will his team coordinator, cook, medic, mechanic and mental coach – his mother Carolyn, 68 – be up for international accolades or sponsorship windfalls.
In a week when a blood-doping scandal involving the pre-race favourite Alexandr Vinokourov cast a shadow over the Tour, the British enthusiast is setting an inspirational example to amateur cyclists.
“He doesn’t have any sponsorship and we’re doing it on a shoestring,” Mrs Bream says, having stopped her van on the Col de la Pierre St Martin mountain pass in the Pyrenees to speak to the Guardian. “I reckon by the end of it we’ll have spent, oooh let’s see, £1,500, maybe a little more but £2,000 maximum.”
According to Mrs Bream, a former primary school teacher, each day – apart from rest days – her son sets off at 8am after a breakfast of bread rolls, jam, honey and coffee.
“At the beginning we were leaving earlier but we were starting before the race officials put arrows along the route and ended up going the wrong way,” she says. “Now we start half an hour before the arrow men. After 15km they overtake us with lots of hooting and waving and cheering and we don’t go astray.