The nickname coined by Scottish rider David Millar for the Team Sky bus, with its dark and brooding demeanour, is one that has stuck.
Along the High Street a legion of big name cycling teams are parking up: Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, Movistar, Garmin-Sharp and Cannondale Pro Cycling. Fans swarm around, necks craned and camera phones held aloft, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of their heroes behind the tinted glass.
In a quieter corner another team is setting up. Madison-Genesis is about to make their Tour of Britain debut, but this is a more low-key affair. Rather than a sprawling team coach that wouldn't look out of place on a Lady Gaga world tour, they have a souped up camper van painted in their distinctive turquoise, orange and black.
Mechanics bustle around making last minute adjustments to bikes, soigneurs distribute freshly filled water bottles and riders waddle across a puddle-soaked car park like penguins, toes splayed outwards in their clip-clopping cleated cycling shoes.
At the team car, sports director Roger Hammond, a legend among British cycling circles, gives a cheery grin as torrential rain pours down. "It's on days like this I'm glad I'm no longer a cyclist," he says, as we prepare to begin the 130-mile stage from Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle.
Before setting off Hammond gives me a quick tour of the camper van, where a heady smell of Deep Heat lingers in the air as the riders sit, stretched out on the benches, counting down the minutes until the race begins. "This is our little sanctuary," he says.
One of six British UCI Continental squads for 2013, Madison Genesis has already been in action in Mallorca and Taiwan this season. The six-strong squad for the Tour of Britain comprises team leader Ian Bibby alongside Andrew Tennant, Dominic Jelfs, Liam Holohan, Alex Peters and veteran sprinter Dean Downing. At the helm for the eight-day stage race is Hammond, a two-time British national road race champion. He's good crack is Rog, as everyone seems to call him, with a raft of witty one-liners but a determined set to his jaw which conveys he's not one to suffer fools gladly.
Everyone in cycling knows Hammond and there is a steady stream of riders from other teams at the car window. His arm gets steadily wetter. "I need a lady's evening glove right up to the elbow," he jokes.
Sky's Ian Stannard pulls up alongside for a quick bit of banter. "Bet it's lovely and warm in there," he grins before riding off. Dan Martin of Garmin-Sharp mutters a passing string of expletives about a rival rider ahead who appears to be blatantly getting a tow from a team car.
Every so often there comes a call over race radio: "Madison-Genesis to the peloton" and Hammond takes us haring along the narrow country roads, horn blaring, through the tightly packed convoy of cars to dispatch bottles and gels, collect rain capes and change a wheel after Peters gets a rear flat.
The weather seems to be getting progressively worse, trees along the roadside bent almost double in the gales. "Is there much wind?" Hammond asks Bibby, who grunts, but manages a half smile.
Around midway through the stage comes word - via Twitter - that the camper van has been involved in a bit of an incident. It later transpires that, in a bid to avoid another driver on a tight bend, it veered into a ditch and made light work of the paintwork on a barbed wire fence. We later find it waiting at Drumlanrig Castle for the most part intact, but not without a few bumps and bruises to show for its ordeal.
Hammond winds down the window as Bradley Wiggins, 2012 Tour de France and Olympic champion, appears. "Awright, Brad?" he asks. "Yeah, not too bad now the rain is off," comes the reply. His team-mate Bernhard Eisel appears in less good shape as we pass him squatting gingerly behind a hedge. "Just getting to my race weight," he later joshes with Hammond as he passes.
Race radio flickers into life. "Madison-Genesis to the peloton". Up ahead Peters is trying to wrestle himself out of his rain cape, doing a passable Houdini impression as he twists this way and that. Finally the jacket is off and back in through the car window.
Next, team leader Bibby needs a new bike after a mechanical issue. A dearth of team-mates sees him have to make his own way slowly back to the peloton. Hammond's jaw clenches. A few minutes later, as we near the rear of the bunch, he puts his head out the window and roars at Jelfs: "Dom!" The rider's head whips round. "How is Ian doing?" asks Hammond, handing over fresh bottles. "His knee hurts a bit," says Jelfs before cycling off again.
As the final miles count down, Hammond keeps an ear glued to the radio. There's a crash in the final lap into Drumlanrig Castle. A beat, then he finally breathes a sigh of relief when it transpires no Madison-Genesis riders have come down.
Hammond counts heads as they return. His goal for stage one wasn't to win the race but rather not to lose it. Six started, six finished. On that count, mission accomplished.