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.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tour de France Route 2008

Saturday marks the beginning of the 95th Tour de France. Starting without the attendance of the 2007 winner (Alberto Contador) and third-place finisher (Levi Leipheimer), the race will skip the Prologue stage and dive right in with Stage 1. Setting off from Brest in Brittany, the route promises to produce some exciting racing and, when it hits the mountains, some exhausted racers. Stage 17, for example, sports no less than three hors category summits --- the Col du Galibier, the Col de la Croix de Fer, and L’Alpe D’Huez --- toward the end of a 210 kilometer day, ridden consecutively with a single feed zone between the first and second summits, and very little break between the climbs. If the goal of the race organizers was to find an iron cyclist, that stage should shake out the fittest among the peleton. It would kill me!

Anyway, for a 3D preview of the 2008 route, check out this video (see below). It was originally available on the official Tour de France website but, for some reason, cannot be loaded there. I found it on Youtube. If you don’t have time for the video, check out this race summary from the Tour website:
Running from Saturday July 5th to Sunday July 27th, the 95th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3500 kilometres.

These 21 stages have the following profiles:
- 10 flat stages
- 5 mountain stages
- 4 medium mountain stages
- 2 individual time-trial stages

Distinctive aspects of the race:
- 4 mountain finishes
- 2 rest days
- 82 kilometres of individual time-trials
- 17 Category 1, Category 2, and highest-level passes will be climbed
Live streaming starts on at 6:30 AM; television coverage begins at 8:30 AM. See you Saturday!

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