So it’s “le tour” time. That time of year when my sleep patterns are destroyed by SBS coverage of .
It’s truly one of the world’s great sporting epics, and I’m years into my annual addiction to it. If you missed last year’s reflections, here’s some stories you might find interesting:
- le tour: tactics of time
- le tour: the herd
- le tour: the servant
- le tour: the flatlands
- le tour: the specialists
- le tour: the home stretch
This year’s tour has been unbelievable – and we’re not yet half-way into the race. Massive accidents, favourites falling by the wayside, the inclusion of seriously tough cobblestone stretches and plenty more.
But last night’s stage took the cake. After already covering 145 km and topping three big mountains, the pack hit the foot hills of a monster 27.5 km climb (gaining over 1600 vertical metres) up the famed Col de la Madeleine. With the front running teams pouring on the power up front, the peleton split apart, with race leader and Australian Cadel Evans one of the biggest casualties – dropping out of the battling pack and destined to lose so much time that any hope of winning this year’s Tour was gone.
Later it emerged that Evans was carrying an injury – a fractured bone in his elbow suffered in a crash two days earlier (the day he took the race lead). While seemingly a relatively minor injury, the cracked bone hit Evans where it hurt the most – stopping him from being able to stand up out of the saddle and power up the mighty Madeleine. Continue reading