Route: Saint-Malo – Nantes
Distance: 208 km
More wind (and rain), a crash near the finish line, and a peleton that gambled a bit too much on their ability to reel in a breakaway made for some interesting racing today. The scenery was interesting as well, heading out of Brittany and into the beautiful Loire Valley, known for its wine production and for the longest river in France.
The day was dominated early on by a four-man breakaway comprised of Samuel Dumoulin, Romain Feillu, Will Frischkorn, and Paolo Longo Borghini. They headed away from the pack in the second kilometer, thinking (I suppose) that they would get some visibility for their team sponsors at best. Well, when the peleton was still working to catch them with less than thirty kilometers to go, their wildest dreams came into view --- that of winning a stage of the Tour de France or, in the case of Romain Feillu, of capturing the overall lead. Who would have thought?! A little known (to me anyway) twenty-four year old cyclist from Châteaudun, France taking the yellow jersey from Alejandro Valverde. Talk about having a great day!
By contrast, Angel Gomez had a horrible day, crashing with about twenty-five kilometers to go when he mixed it up with a piece of road furniture (in America, these are generally referred to as medians). The result? Certainly not a yellow jersey. No, Mr. Gomez received a trip to the hospital and a suspected broken pelvis. Ouch! Also involved: the Danish road racing champion, Nicki Sorenson. Thankfully, he is fine.
A bit of the incidental television coverage on Versus today: the Agency for Cycling Ethics. I am very intrigued by this effort: physicians, researchers, and athletes working together to determine a normal band of physiological measures for an individual human athlete and to develop a way to spot broad-scale changes in physiology, as well as the presence of illegal substances. The whole idea seems very proactively health-oriented. Don’t just look for banned substances; be concerned about the health of rider too. Team Garmin Chipotle and Team Columbia have both signed on to this. Good for them. I would love to see both American teams race clean and with reams of documentation to prove it.
- Angel Gomez
- Romaine Feillu
- Paolo Borghini Longo
- Will Frischkorn
- Alejandro Valverde
- Kim Kirchen
For the latest Versus.com video, click here.
Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.