July is a month filled with fun times. It marks the start of real summer weather in Seattle (the day after the 4th is always very nice). Our mother's birthday is the 7th. Lavi's birthday is the 17th. People start taking vacation and work seems to slow a bit at times as a result. But all of this is just truly fodder to the true reason that July is so special because it marks the start of the Tour de France!
Yes, lycra clad cyclists start whizzing down country side French roads at speeds that would make your heart stop if you truly comprehended the danger. Hopes and dreams of men who have trained a year or so for this race. The drama of the jerseys, the excitement of the hopefuls. It all marks a great 3 week bike race.
While I know this is not for everyone (even though it should be) and there are constant talks of doping and such, the Tour is awesome. I look forward to it like a kid waits for Xmas. I geek hard on it and work hard to conceal it from those that my not understand. I watch and root like a mad Cricket fan and dissect the race like ESPN Analyst.
Jack, Lavi and I have been watching on the weekends, and I watch during the day (of course never interfering with work, honest, truly... okay maybe a pinch). I'm watching on my iPad as I type this now. Jack is really into the bike race. He loves rooting for Thor Hushovd the "God of Thunder!" and Thor has not disappointed with 2 stage wins and over 8 days in the Yellow Jersey. In fact Norway has had a great tour with two more wins from Edvald Boassan Haggen. The neighborhood of Ballard is surely rejoicing.
This year's race has been brutal. I was reminded of the Rodney Dangerfield joke as I would say "I was watching a TV show on crashes when the Tour de France broke out." The first week of the Tour was a horror show of crashes. Some of the favorites were heavily affected. The first day 3-time Tour Champion Alberto "I didn't eat tainted beef, honest" Contador got caught behind a crash and started his Tour defense in the hole at over a minute back. This was just a preview. All the big favorites have fallen faster and harder than Wall Street Financial Institutions in 2007. My favorite US rider, Chris Horner was completely messed up and had to pull out.
There have been highlights though. Among the Norwegian winning ways we saw American Team Garmin-Cervelo winning their first stages. One of the wins by Washington State native Tyler Farrar, which was awesome.
The Tour is in the feared alps and the drama continues. Frenchmen Thomas Voeckler is doing a great job of retaining his yellow jersey hold and I hope to see him some where on the podium.
I will also make a plug for really enjoying BikeSnobNYC's daily editorial too.
Gonna wrap this up as work beckons me. I hope you are watching the Tour. If you are not, you should. If you do, then I say "Chapeau" and know that you know what that means.
1. Cadel Evans - winning it in the final TT
2. Andy Schleck - realizing that he needs to be able to ride a TT and downhill to win
3. Thomas Voeckler - just happy to be at the party, like a dork at the prom.
Sur votre gauche,