Vive le Tour de France: Show Your Passion...
The other day the wife asked if I had seen the house with the Tour de France flag hanging outside. I confessed that I had not, and wondered (to myself) if there even was such a thing. Maybe her eyes were deceiving her and it only looked like a Tour de France flag. However since it was supposedly around the corner and down the street, not to mention on the way home from the Village, I stuck that mental sticky note where it would be prominently displayed. Sure enough as I left the Colleges and rode up the hill, there it was in all its unmistakable yellow glory. Not sure I know who lives at this particular house, but I think it goes without saying that they are fans.
photo from the Team Saxo-Tinkoff page on Facebook
Speaking of that little race around France, today's stage was simply fantastic; what a display of teamwork and determination on the part of the Saxo-Tinkoff squad. I only started watching at about the 40 km to go mark, and kept hearing how the Quick-Step boys abetted by some severe crosswinds had blown the race apart earlier. About 10 km later it was the Saxo-Tinkoff's who took over and throttled what was remained of the peloton.
As Nicolas Roche explained afterward, the move was a spur of the moment decision: "I said to Michael [Rogers], 'let's do something.' Mick looked back, and Alberto gave the nod. Then Michael said, 'let's go!' And off we went. It was something that was decided in three seconds." The Yellow Jersey, Chris Froome, was already under pressure due to a depleted squad when six Saxo riders massed at the front - Rogers and Roche, Matteo Tosatto, Daniele Bennati, Roman Kreuziger, and team leader, Alberto Contador - and sprang into action. It was unexpected, it was exciting, it was... wow. I remember looking up from my coffee, and thinking, "what's this?" as the camera out front showed a slight, but slowly growing gap. It looked as if the chase was organizing behind and the gap held steady around 30 seconds, then fell to 20, 19 seconds. But that was all, the chase couldn't close, the boys in dark blue pushed on in team time trial mode, and rode one slick move, one great escape, all the way to the line.
Stage victor, Mark Cavendish, tipped his hat to the squad saying, "you could see how strong they were in the final, they really pulled us all to the finish, and took a minute on the next group, so chapeau." Just more evidence that it ain't over until the peloton rides into Paris.
This weekend is the French Festival in Santa Barbara of which I have posted before. The day before Bastille Day, and bike in tow, I will be getting my French on. Have a good weekend, what ever you do.