Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Stage 17 Embrun / Chorges – The harder they come, the harder they fall

Today’s the final individual time trial in what could best be described as a ‘mountain’ time trial over 32km involving climbs and a tricky descent at the end. The technical nature of the parcours requires a different approach to equipment than for a time trial such as at Mont-Saint-Michel on the flat last week.
Many riders opted for a regular road bike for the climb and then swapped for a low profile time trial bike for the descent so the riders could tuck themselves in to get into more of an aerodynamic position. A number of these bikes were equipped with a rear wheel disc to minimise ‘turbulence out the back’.
For a time there apprentice Matthew Keenan warmed the seat in the commentary box whilst the Ps were away doing God knows what. He astutely observed the lakes in the area are the flattest spots in the region. Now that would be handy for a time trial if only Tour organisers could freeze them first.
Got to hand it to the Troll DJ for putting a good post ad break montage together. Tonight’s had an animal theme which included piggies, cows, sheep and, wait for it, A BUZZARD. OH MY GOD, THEY SHOWED A BUZZARD!
The dog suit from stage seven made it into the montage as well. This had the fans guessing the mystery inside an enigma of who/what was in the dog suit that day. It could’ve been a ‘Specducken’; a streaker, in a mankini, in a morph suit, in a cow suit, in a dog suit. Must have been damn hot in there.
Again we saw more of that true grit Le Tour is made of in the form of Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R La Mondiale). Earlier in the day Peraud crashed on the course in a training run cracking a collar bone on his right side. Peraud bravely opted not to withdraw from the time trial. He put in a solid effort until he crashed again landing heavily on his injured side. Not surprisingly Peraud has abandoned. They say ‘the harder they come, the harder they fall’, chapeau for the Frenchman.
Hard as nails

Van Garderen (BMC), Valverde (Movistar), Contador (Taxo Sinkoff), The Mighty Quintana (Movistar) and even Paul Sherwin man-crush Andy Schleck (Radioshack Leotard) put in great times but it was Froome Dog who took the stage and gets to take on the Yelp d’Cruelaz in the maillot jaune.
At the post race cocktail party those trays of Chaussond'écrevisses aux Truffes or yabby turnovers with truffle didn’t last long. Two tablespoons butter takes the Beurremetric counter to 364g.

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