The Tour de France

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It’s here again. Once a year, over 3 weeks, a starting field of around 200 riders from all over the world, race almost 2000 miles across, up, and down the country of France. They do it in 21 stages:

10 flat stages,

7 mountain stages,

1 medium mountain stage,

2 individual time-trial stages,

1 team time-trial stage.

2 rest days

Plateau-de-Beille

I love the Tour. I’m not quite sure how I got interested. It was about 4 years ago. I think I got to reading about Lance one day in the sports page, watched a few stages, and I was hooked. I’m always asking people if they follow the Tour and most don’t. Here’s a few reasons why:

Reasons why people don’t care about the Tour:

* It’s in France

* The riders wear gay colors

* They wear skin-tight, gay gear

* Riding bicycles is not considered very manly

* They all use steroids,EPO,blood doping and/or other cheating schemes

* Their arms are skinnier than a super model’s

Reasons why people should care about the Tour:

* The riders are THE most fit athletes in the world

* France itself is incredibly beautiful with bountiful history which is expertly covered in the broadcasts

* There are tons of cool strategies, interesting sub-plots, and terminology

* Riding a bike down a 8000 ft mountain,traversing hairpin curves with sheer drops at speeds of 70 mph is pretty manly in my book.

* There are lots of crashes.

* The craziness of the fans (one of the top reasons I like the Tour) that you see nowhere else in sports. Can you imagine Lebron going in for a dunk with 5 or 6 idiots dressed in drag with no pants on running beside him cheering him on?

*All the different sub-races within the race – 6 different jerseys awarded per stage for winning different aspects of the race that day and for the whole race. Example: the Polka Dot jersey is awarded to the “King of the Mountain” or whoever is leading when the group hits the crest of a particular check-point on top of a mountain, they get so many points for that milestone. Whoever gets the most for that stage gets to wear the polka dot the next stage.Pretty cool.

* Lance is there again

*It’s a great way to bone up on how many miles are in a kilometer (.62)

So check it out. Here’s a couple of good sites to check out and learn a little more or follow the race: http://www.versus.com/tdf   and http://www.letour.fr/indexus.html    

  Its on the Versus channel, several times a day. If nothing else   check out the last few miles (or kilometers). Listening to the announcers describe the strategy, and seeing the crazy rush of 40 or 50 riders jockeying for position while hurtling forward inches from each other is pretty awesome. Nascar doesn’t have anything on this!!!!

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5 Responses to “The Tour de France”

  1. cindystephenson Says:

    Hi – That’s an awesome photo of the mountain stage. I’m a fan of the Tour as well. I think I first got caught up in it because of the panoramic shots of French countryside. Then like you said in your blog, all the plots and sub plots are interesting as well. It’s easy to get caught up in it. Plus the TV coverage of it is so good.

    It will be interesting to see what happens this year with Lance and Astana.

  2. schmoffly Says:

    I have always admired Tour de France athletes, maybe I will start getting into it more…

    And what could be more manly and rewarding that wearing a polka dot jersey?

  3. mccoolio Says:

    Wow!!!! Lance is .0001 from being the Overall Leader. Amazing. Of course, he’s playing it cool, downplaying it, being humble. All the time believing he can do it.

    I was looking around at the Tour website swag. It’s some really cool stuff that I’ve gots to have!! I want a polka dot jersey and polka dot Vans-type shoes, and a yellow hat, and a couple of tees’!

  4. somebody42 Says:

    You say “gay” like it’s a bad thing

  5. ol man Woolenshirt Says:

    An aging rider that I am I’m pretty healthy still into my sixties is obviously because of long distance biking, Wished I could’ve done it sooner but hey this race in France is one competition I hope to see live. And you,Get on a bike and ride up a mountain and see how gay this sports is” !

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