Friday, July 6, 2018

On the Eve of This Year's Le Tour de France

Tomorrow is Day 1 of this year's Tour de France. I spent part of my 4th of July downloading and saving the stage maps for each of the 21 days, as well as some profile maps, to share on my blog for the rest of the month. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I'm a big TdF fan, and when I saw this year's course, I was so excited I actually bounced in my chair. But I'm far from the only fan - the numbers of fans for the Tour de France rival the numbers of fans for the World Cup. If you're interested in an easy read and analysis of the race and its' fans, click on this link

This year's route is a thing of beauty. It has the
cobbles of Roubaix, it has the switchbacks of
L'Alpe d'Huez, and it has the grandeur of
Col du Tourmalet. 

The course, this year, has one Team Time Trial in the very early days, and a single Individual Time Trial just before the end. The Tour always has controversy, and it started a little early this year with last year's winner, Chris Froome (the winner of Le Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017), almost banned from participation in this year's contest because of approved asthma medications taken while he rode another of the major three bike races a few weeks ago. The controversy was short-lived, however, with his being reinstated within 24 hours. 

Here's Chris Froome, who rides for Team Sky, showing
off the team's new jersey look for this year's Tour
de France. Nice! I like the Ocean Rescue tangent. 

Doping and drugs has been a consistent problem for Le Tour, as well as other bike races. I'm not saying Froome didn't take the medication, he did, but it was up to the ASO and they decided it was OK to allow Froome to compete, agreeing with his argument. As a fan, I've heard this before. I'm not so sure it's that cut and dried. But I want to see a race, and having Froome in it will make it more exciting. 

The 21 switchbacks of L'Alpe D'Huez are
iconic and seared into Tour de France history.
It is a shared dream of Chickie and me, to
stand at one of the switchbacks of this iconic
road, ringing cowbells as the bikers pass. 

Today, DH will be dealing with two shipments from our dirt and stone supplier. He's getting five tons of top soil this morning, and a lot (I forget the exact amount) of river stone this afternoon. The top soil was supposed to have been dropped by yesterday, but they were running late because of the mid-week holiday. That's a LOT of dirt and rock that DH will be moving today. He'll be in pain tonight, for sure! A lot of this will go to make a small footing around the shed that was put up last year. After we get the footing in, we can phone Tuff Shed and arrange to get the second coat of paint that they were unable to get onto the shed because of the unexpectedly cold weather in October. 

Say what you will, Col du Tourmalet is massive and frightening.
This monumental mountain peak coming close to the end
of the twenty-one day race will push the bikers to their
absolute limits. 

So, you know what my posts for the majority of the month will focus on, and of course life continues at the same time. The utility company sent a text that our power outage was caused by "animal contact". OK, then ... darned squirrels - LOL. Fortunately, it was resolved quickly, especially for a holiday, and all turned out all right. Have a wonderful Friday, enjoy your day, and I'll be back with Stage One of the 2018 Le Tour de France tomorrow. 

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