Thursday, July 6, 2017

Le Tour Update and Farewell To My "Vacation"

All good things must come to an end, and so has my four-day-off "vacation". It couldn't qualify as a vacation in anyone's imagination, but it was four days away from the shop which was a total pleasure. DH and I got a lot done getting the lower yard prepped for the landscapers, and yesterday night we hauled the remains of the old rusted steel shed to the curb for the trash to pick up today. I'll have to pay them extra money to do it, but at least it's one more thing out of the yard which is that much closer to being able to get regraded.

Rolling hills today as the tour continues deeper into France. At 216 km,
it is one of the longer stages on the Tour, and perfect for the sprinters.
Unfortunately, those sprinters won't include Mark Cavendish (injured)
or Peter Sagan (disqualified in a controversial decision). 

Today is Stage Six of Le Tour de France. Just look at that lovely rolling up and down profile. Yesterday's finish on the top of Le Planche des Belles Filles was exciting and a hard finish up that steep 5.6K climb. The Yellow Jersey stays with Team Sky, moving from Geraint Thomas over to Chris Froome. Defending the Yellow Jersey for the entirety of the race is killer for a team, yet it's looking as if Team Sky might just have to do this.

A much younger Andy Schleck appears in this 2010 photo. He still looks
good now, even though he's retired from the sport and operating
a small cafe alongside his wife. 

The talk between the commentators and various guests they interviewed, including past winner Andy Schleck, seem to be almost universally against the UCI decision to disqualify Peter Sagan for aggressive and dangerous riding concerning the injuries caused to Cavendish. Initially the punishment was to have been stripping time from Sagan as well as putting him last in the standings instead of near the top. I'm not sure which is worse - being totally disqualified, or having your standings stripped and starting at the back of the bus. Either way, though, they are both out.

Mark Cavendish was hurt badly by hitting the left-hand barriers at full
speed on the sprint toward the line. Whether or not he was shoved, he
broke his shoulder and roughed up his hand. He's out of the race. 

I'm really sorry to see Cavendish go home injured. He was just getting over mononucleosis and wasn't riding at 100% (although his 98% beats most people). It was just lovely to see him racing once again, and then this horrid accident happened. I do believe that's what it was - an accident, not something actually directed at him. Sagan was ahead of him and his focus was on the road ahead. Throwing an elbow out in the manner that he did is a common move to stabilize and regain balance when being touched in the pack. I doubt Sagan even knew who had touched him, only that he needed to keep on his line. Both riders suffered as a result. Bike racing is a dangerous sport. The riders are moving at high speeds and are totally exposed to the elements. On average, one professional bike rider loses his life every year due to accidents at high speed or poor road conditions. Bike racing is quite scary at times.

Here you can see Cavendish in black losing control and hitting
the barrier on his right. Directly to Cav's left and slightly ahead of
him is Sagan with his elbow out. It is the elbow more than anything
that is eliciting commentary. Did Sagan push Cav with his elbow,
or was it merely out to increase his stability as he pushed for
the finish line? 

So, I'm back at the shop today, working. At least I'll be in air conditioning, unlike DH who will continue working on the yard. He needs to pour a new concrete footing for the back yard door sill before the new patio can be laid, so he'll probably start the prep work for that. I, on the other hand, will enjoy cooling off while swimming my morning mile before heading off to work. It's time to get back into the groove and it's all good. As Taylor Phinney would say, "Peace On" and have an awesome Thursday.

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