Monday, 26 July 2010

Stage 20 25-7-10

My last blog is never very long. I usually promise that I will do a reflection of some sort and publish it later, but I seldom do. So this time I will not make the promise. Should you wish to check in about a week, you MIGHT find a more considered view of the Tour. I might even pick some people or teams like this. The set of questions from one of my cycling forums.

Best stage(s) – Stage 3 Had me on the edge of my seat for many minutes. Stage 17 was pretty good.

Most Surprising Team – Bbox, visible throughout even though without any really good riders.

Most Surprising Rider – Anthony Charteau, (who?) will no longer be a question. Hesjedal, for finishing so high. Navarro, riding for hours up hills making other riders suffer, his speed dropping many riders more famous than he.

Chapeaux – Fignon and Jalabert for being the best commentators ever. The French riders, for making the best of their resources to win stages, not races. France, for continuing to have the most gorgeous countryside on earth.

Maglia Merde – Don't think it is a good idea. But if I gave it it might be for the bad jokes and negative reference to 'mamy' (older ladies) as the opposite of the young macho fit lads on TV and therefore somehow sadder people than young lads. Totally disrespectful and examples of 'bad jokes'.

Best tactical decision – Get Cancellara to stop the race for the Schlecks. Get Schleck to follow Cancellara the next day. Riis triumphs again.

Best tactics – Astana for covering up Contador's bad days.

Worst tactics – Stopping Schleck from attacking more. Riis loses again.

Funniest moment – Hardly anything funny at all.

Giro or TDF? TDF, always the best spectacle, Giro the best cycling race as such.

But the truth of the matter is that by now, blogwise, I am tired and glad it is over. I peak at about the two week mark and it is hard work after that. The Tour has its motivating factors, so I usually continue. I will read al the mags I possibly can afterwards, and enjoy every minute. No doubt I will go back over the record of the race and see what happened in relation to what people say happened, there are always several races being reported on. Like the glorious final race of LA. Like the Chaingate story, which no doubt will run forever. Like the green jersey story. Like the crash of Frank. And then we get into transfer stories. There is much to learn. And much to follow.

So Cav won the sprint, almost on his own. He was dumped very nicely at the last corner, and then just accelerated. He failed to win the jersey, maybe by not trying when he saw he had lost back on stage 2 or was it four. He just gave up. There were two complete surprises, utterly unpredicted by anyone, with Pettachi and Charteau. The last was not even envisaged by his mother. This is unusual.

Like I said, it is short. I liked the Tour. I think it was far more interesting day to day than average. It had plenty of spectacle. And you know the thing I liked best … they caught no one using drugs, they never talked much about drugs and as far as we can tell at this moment, it might have been a clean Tour.

More in about a week. My excuse is that I had a couple of long family calls tonight, big changes ahead, and these took up most of my evening.

Good Tour, I enjoyed many many moments.