Friday, July 9, 2010

TDF Fever, and Crazy About Riding

I don't know if it's the nice weather, or what, but I'm really loving riding my bike lately. True, I'm feeling the pressure of the 90km ride at the Calgary 70.3 Half-IM, but when I do get out on the road, I feel so FAST!

Here's a couple of recent rides: home from Chestermere, and home from Edworthy Park after a few hill repeats:

Then I watch the Tour de France, and those guys are so much faster than me! Still, it would be awesome to ride in the Tour... even as a domestique (the guys who do all the work to help the guys like Lance win). It's gotta be a tough job- riding 3-4 hours a day, plus warmup and cooldown, for three weeks, plus all the bumps and crashes, but man, it would be incredible to be a part of that. Sadly, I'm already too old to get into it (and really, I'm not THAT fast!) Those guys average 40-50km an hour, and that's my TOP speed!

Top 5 tour moments so far:

5. Crash coming down the last descent on Stage 2 (!)... not pleased that people crashed, but to see the look on Andy Schleck's face, I would have bet money that he'd snapped his collarbone, and he just gets back on and rides back into the field. Heroic.
4. Sylvain Chavanel's breakaway ride on Stage 2 to bring the Maillot Jaune into France on the shoulders of a Frenchman. Great ride.
3. Allez-Jet (Allessandro Petacchi)'s sprint finish on Stage 1... although it was kind of marred by the fact that Cavendish, Freire, Farrar, and others all crashed before the final sprint, he showed it wasn't a fluke by winning the sprint again against a mostly intact field at Stage 4
2. The crazy lead-out on Stage 5... and Mark Cavendish, the Manx Missile's first stage win of the year. I was rooting for Tyler Farrar of Garmin, who had a great lead-out, but tried to sneak to the outside instead of coming inside to get in the slipstream of Cavendish... he might have had a chance?
1. Ryder Hesjedal's herculean ride over the cobbles to ALMOST take stage 3... I don't know how long it's been since a Canadian won a Tour stage, but I was in agony when he got caught. Still, he finished 4th, and got himself into 4th place in the GC. Is he going to be the new team leader for Garmin, now that Christian VandeVelde is out? Doubtful, because he's such a big guy (like me, but skinny), that he probably doesn't have much hope though the Alps. :( I'm still cheering for him! Maybe he'll find another break and get that stage win?