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Archive for pyrenees

TDF Stage 14 Pyrenees Factor

Revel -> Ax-3 Domaines

Team Astana is as the front, giving Saxo Bank concern. Contador can climb. He has won all 4 of the Grand Tours he has participated in. He has won the last 2 TDF in a row. Will this be the day he puts the stamp on his podium position as the race goes into the Pyrenees? The HC Port de Pailhères may tell.

Let’s watch, I’ll be back…

On one of the group rides I’ve done this year, my buddy asked how fast the riders in the Tour go. She and I were averaging 17mph, our top speed just over 20mph (the top speed I’ve ever reached is 25mph, but that was on a short 10 mile stretch). The boys can fly down the flats around 35mph – and they do more than 100 miles per day averaging more than 25mph.

Anyone want to practice reading French? The official site for TDF has a guide with interesting bits of info about towns along the route, significance to cycling, local agriculture and historic landmarks, etc. Go to Guide and select the étape. Fun reading!

UPDATE
Lance fell off the back of the peloton during the first climb. The HC has been conquered and the descent has begun. One more, shorter but harder, climb ahead to the stage finish.

Riblon takes the day!

TDF 2009 Weekend in the Pyrenees

Stages 8 and 9 ended a long 9 days of racing with HC climbs in the Pyrenees, culminating in tackling the “legendary” Col du Tourmalet before a long descent to Tarbes. Legs are weary and bodies more than ready for a rest day.

Was there just a little annoyance in Armstrong’s comments about Contador’s attack on the mountain. Did Bruyneel admonish the young champion for his arrogant move. Seems so, and it seems the rest of the field took notice of the tension on the otherwise very strong Team Astana. Nonetheless, the two best Tour tacticians ever, Bruyneel and Armstrong, know exactly what they’re doing and what’s ahead over the next two weeks.

We love to watch the sprinters, but I think we get more excited about the tough mountain climbs (I’m always worried that some idiot waving a flag in a rider’s face will take him down). The first part of my workout at the gym yesterday was a short, 30-minute spin on the bike at a resistence level that I’m sure these guys would laugh at, but my legs were killing me. I can’t imagine what the boys on the bikes are feeling today!

After years of hearing about Trek and Cervelo bikes, Robbie Ventura did a feature on the Cannondale, ridden by Team Liquigas and a make that I’ve been considering. Thanks for that, Robbie! No way do I need a pro-level bike requiring adjustment for weight limit or screaming speed, but I do need one that will last a long time and withstand the trials and tribulations of a klutz (that would be me, of course). My kid sister, a triathlete, works at REI and they sell Cannondale bikes. Buy REI and keep her employed!

Trivia
By the end of Armstrong’s last Tour career, we noticed yellow wristbands on all the riders, out of respect and support. This go-round, I’ve noticed one…so far. My, how things can change.

Sound off
How many drug tests in 1 day does it take to prove that Lance is clean? He has been tested more than any other rider in the Tour – ever. What’s your take on this (don’t let me prejudice you when I call this totally ridiculous)?