Tour de France - 100 Years of Drama
It isn't the Tour de France unless things get a little crazy.
The opening stages of the Tour de France have started and things have gotten off to the usual bumpy start although with a new finish line twist.
Of course we have the GreenEdge team bus getting stuck underneath the stage 1 finish line gantry. Watching ASO officials and assorted police officers scramble around the jammed green team bus was (pardon my French) like a monkey screwing a football - a whole lot of fumbling around and no real action.
Stateside the start of the 2013 Tour de France didn’t make much of a ripple on the front page of the sports section, but the stuck bus did! To further show how Twitter has become a part of the social fabric of the sport someone quickly created a fake twitter account for the GreenEdge bus with the bio, “I’m long, tall, and the winner of Stage 1 of the 2013 TdF!” Thankfully the author of this account knew when the joke had run its course and hasn’t tweeted from the driver’s seat since stage 2. A part of running a good prank is to know when to pull the plug and move on to the next meme. I know there has to be someone with a “fluffy white dog that almost crashed the peloton” Twitter account out there somewhere...
With three stages of this year’s Tour de France completed we can draw some quick conclusions.
1. The Tour can turn on a dime. Stage 1 saw Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff Bank) hit the pavement. Sure it was superficial, but it demonstrates how bad things can happen in a heartbeat and a five-star favorite can be laying in the gutter with a broken collarbone.
2. Professional cyclists are the toughest “mo-fos” in the business. With a bruised lung and torn skin Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s German panzerwagen Tony Martin crossed stage 1’s finish line with more butt exposed than a plumber bent over your sink. Two days later he’s still pedaling. He wasn’t the only one. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) has a small fracture in his pelvis and Cannondale’s Ted King has swaths of bandage covering his back and arms. Soccer players take note. I repeat, soccer players take note...
3. Aero is everything. Like I predicted (yes, I will pat myself on the back for this prediction) aerodynamic clothing is the new buzz in the peloton. Aerodynamic helmets that look like phallic symbols are in full force. Also road race skinsuits are becoming de rigueur. I’m going to say it once and own it - if you’re in a break and your competitor is wearing an aero lid and you don’t, you’ll probably lose. If he is also wearing a skinsuit and you’re not, throw your arm up and slide back to the chasing group.
4. At a bike race dogs need to be kept on a leash. So do your drunk friends. Another news flash: No one wants to see you running alongside the riders in a Speedo. No. One. Ever. Not even your girlfriend – as if you had