Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tour de France

I'm watching the Tour de France this morning. They just made the summit of Col d'Aspin on Stage 9 and now charging downhill at speeds in excess of 80km/h to the finish. I watch a little bit of the race every year, and I've found that you don't have to necessarily watch every km to appreciate the race, but paying attention to the expert commentary over a few different days is just enough to appreciate this fantastic sporting event. During the climb this morning I was trying to explain to the kids how difficult the climb was - the steepness of the climb, the distance etc, but I just said - just look at their faces. These guys are arguably some of the best athletes in the world, and if they're struggling to peddle uphill, you begin to appreciate the extreme efforts required to be a professional cyclist. You've got to remind yourself sometimes that you've watched perhaps a half hour or so, but they doing about 200 kms per day (over 5 1/2 hours today), for 23 days ! Phil Ligget just said that some of the leaders are not in contention today because they're saving themselves for the one of the big climbs tomorrow in the Pyrenees - I thought this was a big climb ! The stage just finished, even for this mountain stage, they averaged over 40km/h. Stage winner today was the Italian, Riccardo Ricco, overall it's still Kim Kirchen from Luxembourg. Brilliant stuff, must-see-sports-TV ! Now over to my cyclist bro for some colour commentary.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Thanks bro for the wonderful lead in. These guys are unreal. Evans took the yellow today, still sporting all the cuts and butterfly clips holding him together after yesterdays terrible wreck.

The TV angles seem to make the grades appear flatter then they really are, but if you look at the people standing on the side, they can barely stand straight.

Take the steepest overpass you can find, double the percentage, add 10 miles to the distance, remove your third chain ring and anything with more than 23 teeth on the back, remove some of the oxygen out of the air, and then ride it 23 days in a row and you might get an idea of what these guys do everyday..... oh yeah, do a training ride for 70 miles before each attempt.