Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stage 12 Fougères / Tours – On my own

We’re more than halfway through and today’s flat 218km flat stage through the Loire Valley saw Le Tour head to Tours.

Gabriel Gate baked a local specialty Gâteau Nougatde Tours or a nougat cake as a mid afternoon snack for the peloton. Curious name as it contains no nougat. No butter either, so the Beurremetric counter total sits on 286g.

More than a bike race, Le Tour is also an opportunity to showcase the great beauty of France and promote tourism. The Loire Valley is no exception and it’s no wonder the helicopter shots linger on the fairytale castles the region is famous for.
One of the famous chateau of the Loire Valley

Apart from the ‘chateau p0rn’ this was a fairly mundane stage. Being flat it’s ‘one for the sprinters’ as they say which begs the question why not shorten the race from 218km to 200m?
Still there was enough time during the race for the Ps to explain some of the tactics. For example, Paul employed a fishing analogy for the peloton chasing down the breakaways. Once hooked you play with it until it wears out and then you reel it in.
And somewhere along the way Paul has adopted Chapatte’s Law (that it takes a group of chasing riders 10km to make a one minute gain on a lone rider) as HIS very own formula. If we let him get away with that then I’m claiming Einstein’s E=mc2 as my very own.
So after 218km the race really was decided in those last 200m or so. A big crash in the peloton as the riders neared the line saw another wheel come of the Sky train with the ‘wonderful, wonderful Boasson Hagen’ out with a fractured shoulder.
Cav couldn't quite dish it out at the finish and lost by half a wheel to Argonaut Kittel who made it an impressive third stage victory. Froome Dog stays in yellow. His Sky team has reduced to seven, however with the way Froome’s going you wonder if he really needs a team to support him at all.
In other news I’m still waiting to have my song ‘MyFavourite TdF Things’ recorded. Dame Julie Andrews is too busy. Next on the list I’m yet to hear back from Weird Al Yankovic. Give it time and Jedward may give it a go.

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