/*23 Breaths: Le Tour de France*/

Monday, June 28, 2010

Le Tour de France

I have been following the tour or Le Tour or even The Tour "day" France for a number of years now


The tour, if you don't already know, is a bike race around France
(and the odd other country in the EU) for the better part of the month of July

Everyday (yea I know not quite)
they get up, eat 10000 calories,
get on the bike and ride a hundred plus miles

On a good day, the course is only hilly


on the "bad days" you get to climb an Alp
or two
or three


It's arguable to call any of the days on the tour "good days" really.

There are a couple of "rest days" during the tour when there is no racing
but the riders have so much lactic acid in there muscles they have to ride some on those days too.

Or risk, what I can only surmise would be the rider spontaneously combusting in their hotel room.


The race has one winner, the rider with the lowest total elapsed time for the day races
but it is really a team sport, trust me.
(didn't make any sense to me either until I followed alone for a few years)
but their are hotly contested winners for :

King of the Mountains - Red Polka Dot Jersey
Kind of odd but the riders that do well in the mountains usually don't sprint well
probably has to do with the amount of fast twitch vs slow twitch muscle fiber etc

Fastest Sprinter - Green Jersey
The symmetrical corollary to the rule above but the riders that sprint well don't do as well in the mountains

Best Young Rider - White Jersey
Did I mention that the CPA has proposed a minimum salary of  $76,160 for pro cyclist? Thats over 50000 euros if you are keeping track that way. So being the Best Young Rider in a big race like the tour would up that amount quite a bit. Contracts for the rest of the Peloton vary greatly but its not a bad gig over all. Not the NBA but what is?  I wonder how many mats you could buy for 76,100?

The teams themselves while representing a national corporation or two employ an international mix of riders.
So you can't really get too whooped up along national lines
Which makes it a nice cool down from the current World Cup.
Did I mention that there aren't really any referees in cycling?
Not really, there are Tour Officials but they tend to go in for drug busts and leave the competition to the riders,
which is nice


This year there is a grudge match between an older yet wiser rider and the latest in a series of young, gifted riders that can ride like the wind up hill and down but haven't grasped the one inviolable rule in cycling.

NEVER PISS OFF LANCE

So there you have it, as nice an overview and preview as you will find in any newspaper.

Since June gloom may very well last thru to August
I have my month pretty well planned out

High carbohydrate dinners followed by liberal doses of the local red

There is a nice balance to it

I sit on the couch watching high lights on TV

They participate in the most grueling epic in all of sport

If you want to find out more, check here

3 comments:

pranaglider said...

Morning Surf Report,
Grey
cold
and windy

(and very too South
for here
but still there are other places)

The point being

What is this the NW?

Will this madness ever stop?


(my verification word is sycle)

El Hefe said...

The Col De Tourmalet is epic. But it's not an Alp..it's a Pyranee. Just sayin.

pranaglider said...

L'Hef of course you are correct.
Let me explain or 'splain if you are a Lucy fan. I know the three other people that occasionally read this blog pretty well. If I said "climbing the Pyranees" they would think it involved a large dog breed so I went with the more well known "Alp" than the geographically incorrect "Pyranee". Also it's shorter and I can spell it. (I have spelling issues). BTW Love the Brown Recluse!