And so Le Tour has completed the final Corsican stage before saying au revoir to the ‘l'île de Beauté’. It won’t be easy getting to Nice on the French mainland. The logistics of Le Tour are mindblowing for starters. Moving the whole show requires more planes, ships, hardware and boots on the ground than for the D-Day landings or a Pink Floyd stadium concert.
To give you more of a sense of the importance of Le Tour consider this clever observation from commentator Paul Sherwin. If you take out events held every four years like the World Cup and the Olympics then the Tour de France is the biggest annual sporting event in the world. The man’s a genius.
The riders took a novel approach to getting off the island by commandeering every available flying dinghy. Soon they were airborne in a tightly packed peloton/flotilla/squadron/armada above the Mediterranean. Flocks of seagulls were the main hazard but this was a welcome change to traffic furniture. Must have been a sight to behold. Eyewitnesses in Nice initially reported what appeared to be a gigantic swarm of midges heading toward the coast.
Le Tour packs up before heading to Nice
Before their flight Gabriel Gate prepared Poulet Marengo auxOlives, a dish created by Napoleon Bonaparte’s cook after 'the little corporal' got sick of 'Chicken Tonight'. Again, no butter. If this continues the Beurremetric counter is facing early retirement.
Earlier in the day the riders completed the 145.5 km stage from Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon, to the beautiful town of Calvi. This time the final 10 kms were drama free. However, in typical style the carrots (Euskaltel – Euskadi) spent more time on the road than above it.
There were more sightings of morph suits on the parcours prompting a bit of Benny Hill chase music from the SBS troll DJ. This has become a topic discussed at length in the tour caravan and would like your thoughts addressing the question ‘are morph suits the new mankini?’
In welcome news for Orica-GreenWEDGE, Aussie Simon Gerrans took out the stage in a thrilling photo finish. The prize money couldn’t have come at a better time. It should cover those aircon unit repairs on the team bus with enough change for a couple of slabs for the lads. And to the relief of the podium women and tour organisers, green jersey winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale) managed to behave himself.