Monday, July 19, 2010

July 18, Stage 14: Revel - Ax-3 Domaines 184.5km

Hey, another French winner. Pretty awesome, I think. It was good (tough) stage, interesting and definitely exciting. I expected a bit more drama between Contador and Schleck, and in a way we got that, but not exactly how I (or anyone else) expected. The mountains were killer, as they always are in the Tour (which is what we fans love) and so we had a pretty decent break. I didn't expect it to last, especially when the break started to shed riders and that almost happened. The peloton started breaking up on that final climb before the finish. The real drama started on the climb to the finish, which is almost too predictable.

I was cheering hard for Christophe Riblon because I'm that kind of person. I really wanted him to stay away and win, because I like the breaks, as we've already established. And so I was pretty pleased when he did. It was fun to watch and really fun to see him so pleased about winning. I know that maybe I'm silly for caring more about stage winners than about the GC, but sometimes that's the way it works out. I used to think it was because I kept getting burned by winners, but I think that, for me, the GC isn't important. I'm not usually a fan of anyone in the top 5, much less the top 3. I think it's bitterness from being an Armstrong fan. So it turned out that, mostly, I can enjoy the Tour more when I just don't care who wins the whole damn race.

Of course, when blogging about the Tour, I just can't pretend nothing else happened. Other things did happen. Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador nearly (well, not that close) raced themselves out of the TDF lead (though I don't know that Andy would have minded). They were so busy watching each other that a few of the other contenders got away from them. They didn't gain much (any?) time, but it was fascinating -- and fun -- to watch. It was that you go, no you go, no you go kind of thing. It was pretty cool and not something we often see in the TDF in recent years. While that doesn't make me care more about the GC, it does provide entertainment. And that's what we all like about the sport (well, most of us).

Other things -- amusing comments about Anthony Charteau being in the KOM jersey when he was shitty last year (we all know why, that's how things go in cycling). The changing of the Green jersey (Thor to Petacchi to Thor to Petacchi over and over ...). The fact that Robbie McEwen is still racing and that makes him a stud and I love it. Also, the fact that Sylvain still feels he can give it a go occasionally, which we all know I like.

I guess I don't have all that much else to talk about so I'm going to end it here. I've been watching Stage 15 and I'm going to have a lot to talk about. Anyway, stage 14 was good and exciting and now we're onto another day.

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