View Full Version : Tour de France: Londres-Canterbury

07-08-2007, 10:10 AM
Don't worry, I won't be writing every day! It's just today it was still on home soil, so the whole nation was watching. Wel.... who said flat stages were boring? Just finished typing a report up for my blog (http://mrbaldi.blogspot.com/search/label/Tour%20de%20France) but my HR is still high after all that excitement!

After yesterday's great performances, today was yet another fantastic story to put Britain on the cycling map! David Millar was a man on a mission and broke away from the main pack as soon as they crossed the official start line. At the finish line, he managed to gather enough breath to say that he did it as a thank you to the British public for making the last two days so special. As a bonus, he managed to pick up enough points on the two hills (renamed for the race as Cote de Southborough and Cote de Goudhurst!) to put on the King of the Mountains jersey. Each hill was no more than a few hundred meters but the crowds at each summit was reminiscent of Alpe d'Huez. He should be able to keep the polka dot jersey for a fair few days, as Belgium is even flatter than Kent, with not even a measly hillock in sight! And he also managed to pick up enough time bonuses to go up to third place on the general classification. A very good tactical ride to guarantee him and his team some good exposure for the week.

The big story is that a pile-up 20Km from the finish left the two favourites - Robbie McEwan and our very own Mark Cavendish - stranded behind, just as the race picked up speed. Cavendish was extremely frustrated at having mechanical problems and seemed to be in tears - not only was he a favourite but, as a Brit, he really wanted to win this stage. Back to McEwan for the fairytale ending - after a superb effort by his team, he managed to catch the back of the pack with 5Km to go. The only problem is that it was flying at approx 60kph, so most onlookers would give him no chance of going even faster and getting to the front to contest the sprint. WRONG! Not only did he work his way up to the front but he came out of nowhere to fight for the sprint and leave everyone standing, winning by a couple of lengths. A real triumph over adversity and an inspiration to never ever give up, no matter how hopeless it looks. Chapeau Monsieur McEwan!

Now the Tour leaves our shores, after a successful weekend (in my humble opinion!) for London and for cycling. Here's to seeing come back again soon - a bientot, Le Tour!

07-09-2007, 04:37 AM
What a beautiful Etage 1! And the weather was too. I wouldn't mind watching more pro cycling on your turf - it was well organized, well-attended...

Who knew cat 4 was so challenging? There is not much relief when the rollers keep coming, though. A beautiful ride.

On to stage 2 - Allons-y!

07-09-2007, 11:48 AM
Watching McEwan seemingly appear out of nowhere to win caused my wife and I to rewind our PVR to watch the finish 4 times, and we still can't believe he did it ... heck even the commentators were stunned ... and to think this is just the start, I can hardly wait to see what happens in the hills!