Sunday, June 30, 2013

Stage 2 Bastia / Ajaccio – A state of calmness in the peloton

Today’s ride had more of a sense of calmness about it compared to the bedlam of yesterday’s stage finish. I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘another day in the office’ since it’s only the second day but I’m sure many riders were thankful just for surviving the first.
Pre-race the Orica-GreenWEDGE team passed the hat around to pay for the ruined finish line arch. The  team bus aircon unit won’t be fixed until Le Tour is back on the French mainland, so it could get a bit hot and sticky in there for a few days. Ads running on SBS might point to the cause of the crash. Seems those Swisse sleep pills, the preferred choice of the Orica-GreenWEDGE team, might have been a little too effective. Subsequently, the team doctor has put them under lock and key.
The stage took the riders into the beautiful mountains and gorgeous gorges of Corsica. Horses were on their best behaviour. SBS commentator Mike Tomalaris was right about the lack of cows, although reports of wild boar sightings gave Gabriel Gate some ideas for a spit roast to feed the tour caravan, if he could manage to find enough road kill. It was not to be but did get his mitts on some local brocciu cheese and whipped up a delicious Corsican Fiadone cake. No butter so the Taste Le Tour Beurremetric counter is still stubbornly stuck on zero.
Spit roast anyone?

The fans were out in numbers as usual for the ascents. Some wore morph suits adding to the spectacle. A refreshing change from mankinis? Hmm. Still, how anyone can wear a morph suit for more than two minutes without suffocating is beyond me.
The inspiration behind the morph suit craze

The calmness in the peloton was rippled in the final 10 kilometres by a couple of white knuckle moments. An idiot runner bolted seemingly out of nowhere into the middle of the road. With the peloton bearing down a white dog made it off the road just in the nick of time.
Happily there were no major crashes to report and Tour officials were taking no chances with another balls-up by strictly enforcing a ban on massive VIP yachts taking a shortcut through the finish line.
Day two of the post-race SBS wrap had Mike and Scotty maintain neutrality in the trollshirt stakes by sticking to their standard issue black SBS shirts . We eagerly await the return of cycling writer Rupert Guinness to throw a cat among the pigeons.
And the winner of the stage? One of the blokes from Radioshack Leopard.

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