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Tag Archives: Tour de France 2012

A British One-Two into Paris

Twenty days of racing complete, 153 competitors still in the game, and but one stage remaining– this of course tomorrow’s grand finale.  The third week of Le Tour de France has magnificently come and gone, leaving behind yet one more batch of remarkable accomplishments and impressive finishes.

And now it’s on to Paris, for the Tour’s big finish on the Champs Elysees.  Considering the men in first and second place overall are both riding for Great Britain– Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome respectively– it’s a “British One-Two” as Tour commentators put it.  Then, if “The Missile” Mark Cavendish from The Isle of Man wins tomorrow’s final stage once again, perhaps it will be called a British One-Two-Plus.  We’ll see!

 
 

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On a Day of “Rest”…

In addition to the consistent yet unpredictable excitement of professional cycling, a secondary attraction always lies beneath the surface of Tour de France broadcast coverage.  This is, the ability of television viewers here at home– or from anywhere beyond the event itself– to take in what might seem like all of the country of France.

From farmland to mountain terrain, villages to mid-sized cities, modest cottages to grand chateaus, French topography and landmarks prove captivating as yet another interesting sight always seems to catch the eye.  Even during a surprise sprint attack, an exhausting climb or a bullet-like descent, it’s hard to be unaware of the athletes’ beautiful surroundings.  The genuine outpouring of enthusiasm from numerous roadside spectators simply enhances the joy.  Plus, the roads, towns and many varied locations we see are never all the same from one year to the next, because no two Tour routes are exactly alike.

Now on this first of two days of “rest” in the Tour de France, the opportunity is here for any fan so inclined to enjoy as much French scenery as possible, free from the obvious priority of the next Tour stage.  (If you missed it, the second rest day is next Tuesday, July 17.)  All the while I dream of my own days– hopefully not too far in my future– when I will enjoy these beautiful places firsthand, by car, motorcycle, or best of all– bicycle!  With each passing Tour, I realize all the more it’s been far too long since my last visit to France.

 

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Triumphant on the Flats

After six stages and the prologue, the first week of the 2012 Tour de France has coasted into history with plenty of memorable results and of course no shortage of coverage.

Here’s to a week of truly triumphant finishes on relatively flat stretches of road!

 Next come the mountains following this predominantly flat week, bringing with them a certain reshuffling of stage winners.  In other words, we may not be seeing a fourth victory photo of young Peter Sagan right away.  Stay tuned!

 
 

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Vive Le Tour, Encore!

My favorite sporting event of the year is well underway.  Here on the first day of the second half of the year, Stage 1 of the 2012 Tour de France is rolling through not France incidentally, but eastern Belgium.  The city of Liege marks this year’s starting point, following yesterday’s individual time trial prologue.

As usual this time of year, I know how a good chunk of my free time will be spent– watching NBC Sports that is– likely around 5:30am to catch some live moments of this exciting professional cycling action.

From there comes the continued accumulation of my own road cycling mileage, which I’m happy to report more than doubled in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011, putting me at a modest yet respectable 2,106 miles so far this year.  If this number sounds like a lot, keep in mind the fact it happens to be 55 miles less than the total distance of the current Tour de France itself!

  After sacrificing pedaling for motorcycling in ’10 and ’11, I’ve since happily reignited my cycling discipline and kicked back up my overall mileage.  Still, my personal record is not about to be broken, as I’d have to triple my latest figure in order to exceed my 2008 total of just over 6,200 miles.  At this point, two-thirds of this record by the end of 2012 will be more than satisfactory.

Meanwhile of course, for the next three weeks once again, vive le tour!

 
 

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