Saturday, July 17, 2010


Going back 5 years in the Tour de France things were different and they were the same. I was lucky enough to be at that tour. The reason I was there is a bit of a story ( a friend bought a trip, couldn't go and gave the trip to me). I loved watching the tour and I would tell everyone who loves bike racing to go to the Tour at least once. Watching the Tour live is an experience that I will never regret. Traveling in France in the summer is difficult though.
Lets get on with my story. Five years ago my group choose Revel as the stage to watch the finish. This is the same town that the tour is finishing today. Revel is another beautiful town in southern France. There was a break that day with Paolo Salvodeli. He was on the Discovery team, a teammate of Lance Armstrong. The finish in Revel is tricky because there is a short climb with a technical downhill. I predicted Paulo would win and win he did. Paulo, who is retired now was known as il falco (the falcon) because of his descending abilities. He was also a decent sprinter. He won the day. He later went on to win the GIRO for a second time. If you look at the photos you will see on the big screen television a photo of Perrick Pedrigo. He was in the main field that day trying to pull in the chase, today he is currently in the break still racing with one career TDF win. You will also see in the photo Thor Hushovd putting on the Green Jersey. He is currently the holder of that jersey. Will he keep that jersey today, tough to tell. I think Alessandro Petacchi will beat Thor in the sprint but I can't say by how many places. So that could be the same as 5 years ago. Lance is back in the race, though not in the yellow. I got to ride the course 5 years ago and do the final climb. Like any climb it depends on fast you go whether it is hard or not. This one is not that tough unless someone fast is up front trying to put the pressure on.
Watching today is special because I have been to Revel, the next 5 days will also be special for the same reason. I hope to go back to watch the tour someday. It won't be with a big tour group just some friends will do. I will remember not to go to too many finishes. As you can see by the third photo it is too crowded to really see anything, when we go to the mountains we will go to the second to last summit, and find a cafe with a TV to watch the rest of the race, and though Paris was an experience, it is just too crowded to really enjoy the race.
5 years seems a long time but it really isn't as many of the same players are still here.
As I write this the breakaway is almost caught and there is 10 miles to go. Who will win, who will have green, who will be ready for the Pyrenees? Soon we will know.

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