Thursday, July 13, 2017

Now Le Tour Gets Fun - The Pyrenees Are Here!

Yesterday's sprint to Pau was filled with crashes over stupid things - food bags caught in wheels or just simple inattention on what was a fast but somewhat boring stage. But now the Pyrenees loom and we start from Pau. Three of the next four days are "must see" stages - Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Settle down with your cold drinks and watch the boys get shredded on these mountain roads.

Just look at this lovely profile of today's stage. We start off with
a light and easy Cat 4 before the feeding station, but then we
break out into peaks and narrow, winding roads with a
Cat 2, a Cat 1, an HC and finally, ending at the top of another
mountain and immediately up a sixth to end at the peak
for the day with a Cat 1 and a Cat 2. Whew!!!!

Today's stage will bring us the best of what the mountains in south-western France has to offer. We're into the third of the five mountain ranges of France, and even though we'll come close to the Spanish border, we're staying in-country this time. These mountains are brutal and they will shred the Peleton and leave havoc in their wake. We've got two days in the Pyrenees before heading out toward the Massif Central on Sunday and then on to two days in the Alps next week. My mountain-loving heart is so very happy right now!

Stage 11 ended with a sprint into Pau and guess who won - or maybe
you won't need to guess. This year's sprinter of merit and now the
winner of FIVE stages - Marcel Kittle. If he can hang on through the
mountains, there are more winning opportunities ahead for him. 

Right now there are less than 60 seconds separating Chris Froome and his closest rival, Fabio Aru. The mountains specialize in creating large gaps of time, so Froome and Team Sky will be hard pressed to keep that Yellow Jersey that they won on the first day of racing. They've protected it throughout the race so far, but we're only on Day 12 of a total of 21 days of racing, so it certainly isn't over yet!

My Underwater Audio iPod is absolutely dead. *sigh* I'm
glad I ordered a new one yesterday morning, but wish it
could arrive faster. I really don't like swimming without music.
I get too tangled up in my thoughts.  

On a final note, I tried recharging my current Guppy Play iPod, but it's definitely busted. Additionally, we didn't have a lifeguard for the indoor pool until more than 30 minutes after opening. So I swam in the outdoor pool without music. Guess I'll be swimming without music for another week until my new underwater iPod is in my hands. *sigh* Have a wonderful and magical Thursday!

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