Friday, July 25, 2014

Out of the Mountains and Editing!

So with Stage 19 the riders of Le Tour are finally out of the mountains. Today is an up and down that will be a sprinter's paradise at the end. Barring unforeseen accidents or other calamity, the Yellow Jersey will be Vincenzo Nibali's when they ride into Paris on Sunday, and Majka, the young Polish rider that had all of us astounded with his skill has wrapped up the Polka-dot Jersey for King of the Mountain. Peter Sagan looks like he has the Green sprinter's jersey wrapped up but the White Jersey could still shift. AG2R has been riding hard since the start and has wrapped up the team competition. So why bother still watching? Well, because it's Le Tour - a twenty-one day bicycle race that has engrossed me for many years now!

Today is almost anticlimactic. It's a hilly up and down stage, but
nothing major. Tomorrow's time trial will probably be harder than
today's stage. But the riders are tired and hurting, so anything can happen. 

But Le Tour is not the only massive road race across Europe. Earlier in the year is the Giro d'Italia, another 21-day challenge which, this year, was won by Nairo Quintana, a Columbian rider I remember from Le Tour a few years ago. The Giro was ridden on May 9 - June 1 of this year.

There is nothing like the Italian Alps and the Dolomite Mountains. The
Giro paints Italy pink for three weeks because the winner's jersey is
pink colored. Only the Italians could get away with fashion sense like that. 

Still to come is La Vuelta a Espana, Spain's answer to Le Tour which goes for 20 days, August 23 - September 14th. Alberto Contador was hoping to compete in this after breaking his leg earlier in Le Tour, but has pulled out because he is not healing as quickly as he wanted.

The winner of la Vuelta a Espana wears red, so Spain is painted
red for this tour which starts next month. Expect to see familiar faces
and teams competing in this tour. Although it is rare for a person
in GC contention to ride both Le Tour and la Vuelta (or the Giro),
it has been done. 

So there you have it - the three great Tours of Europe. There are lots of smaller road races also, and let's not forget the USA Pro Challenge. It isn't a long race, only seven days, but it takes place at the high altitudes of the big mountains in Colorado and starts in my former home town of Aspen, Colorado (I'm getting homesick again). Sixteen teams have committed to riding this one, and it proves to be a massive pull over many of our 10,000-14,000 foot peaks. Of course, the entire route is at least one mile high since they end in Denver, so it will be a fight in rarefied air.

With the Rocky Mountains behind them, the contenders in 2013
leave the high mountains for the high plains of Colorado in the
USA Pro Challenge. This year's Challenge begins next month and
goes for a week. 

Now on to my personal rarefied air - editing. I got a good deal edited yesterday, but I have a long way to go. Today's post is short, sweet and to the point. Now to get back into editing mode...  Have a fabulous Friday and I'll be back tomorrow.

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