LE TOUR DE FRANCE 2021

And so it begins

Wow! what a start to Le Tour! The first weekend and a lot more exciting than I was expecting. The first week is usually full of crashes as with 180 odd elite cyclists from the pro world most are trying to be at the front of the peloton to either be in a position to sprint or keep their team’s GC men safe and touches of wheels or handlebars on some narrow roads are inevitable.

First 4 stages in Brittany

However, this year some buffoon of a woman was on the side of the road with a silly cardboard sign which she was aiming at the TV camera for her own personal gain and hit one of the Jumbo Visma riders who was in the first row travelling at around 40 mph and within milliseconds we had 3/4 of the peloton lying in the road. Truly awful and a lot of flesh wounds and painful bruises. It appears the police are now after this woman and will charge her with reckless endangerment.

Doesn’t get more stupid than this!
Tony Martin getting knocked off his bike which resulted in this …..
Day 1 mayhem

With about 10K to the finish the inevitable touch of bars and once again about 130 riders are involved in another crash in which Chris Froome is injured but struggles on to the finish.

Chris Froome in trouble

Chris struggled on to the finish, I hope he can continue. The race continued with a fairly predictable win for World Champion Alaphilippe, a Frenchman zooming off on a finish ideally suited to his skill sets. A well deserved win despite all the carnage to many of the teams. After watching all of this I personally did not feel much like venturing out on the roads, so a personal “rest day” was in order!

Day 2, and another incredible day’s racing with another Frenchman taking the win. This young first timer in the Tour wanted to get a stage win to dedicate it to his Grandfather who was a prominent rider in the early 70’s and although finishing second several times never got the win or the yellow jersey. Well he did it, the grandson that is, took the stage win, and the overall and of course that coveted “Yellow Jersey” Well done Van de Poel junior!

Day 3 should have been a simple Sprint Day but the carnage on the roads continued with poor old Geraint Thomas coming off in what seemed a minor crash but yet another painful shoulder injury which the medics relocated as he lay there and he was off again and caught up with the peloton for a decent but painful result.

That looks painful!

No more problems until 10K from the finish when last year’s long time leader, Roglic gets knocked off his bike

That’s only a minor injury compared to all the ones on his thighs and rear end

But despite all this he made it back and finished overall in 20th position.

Now we are coming into the sprint with yellow jersey leading out his team’s sprinter for another team win and before they cross the line Sagan is nicely positioned in 3rd with the fastest sprinter on his inside and they collide at around 45 mph and both hit the ground.

Enough to put anyone off riding a bicycle

Day 4, yet another pancake road to what is predicted to be a mass sprint for the line, and so it was! With a fantastic and well timed lead out Mark Cavendish increased his number of wins to 31 and is now only 3 behind all time winner, Eddy, on 34.

Back in the Colorado mountains the weather has changed with showers and thunderstorms making any distance riding a non practicable venture, unless you like getting wet! I managed 27.80 after two attempts on Sunday. Nothing yesterday due to the hospital visit, and a dismal 6.30 before I got wet today and since then it has been AWFUL !!!

TONY DOWN

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