Monday, July 14, 2014

On the Tour de France, which I've neglected to mention to date -
The Yorkshire stages, one and two, were a resounding success. "Le Tour de Yorkshire", UK journalists named it, but the French organisers stuck to "Le Tour en Yorkshire". Everyone was surprised that the people of Yorkshire could organise anything, particularly the London based media.

I usually choose a competitor who I think will win. I think my success rate is about 20%. This time I didn't bother. Most of the pundits were placing their faith in Froome or Contador, but neither has survived, both crashing out. Now they're tipping Vincenzo Nibali, the current Yellow Jersey.
I decided to pick an underdog team and follow its progress. My choice was Bretagne-Séché-Environnement. They are what is known as a "wild card", a less successful outfit given a chance for a little publicity. The leader is Brice Feillu who won a tour stage back in 2009. Most of the rest have never ridden in "The Big Lap". The sponsors are the Breton regional government and a recycling firm. Four of the team members are Bretons.

This is Brice Feillu's form so far -
Stage 1: 53rd (of 192) clocking the same time as the stage winner
Stage 2: 52nd (progress!) 1 minute 19 seconds in arrears
Stage 3: 41st same time gap
Stage 4: 41st 1'19"
Stage 5: 42nd 9'10"
Stage 6: 39th 9'10"
Stage 7: 38th 9'10"
Stage 8: 27th 10'23"
Stage 9: 22nd 6'43"
Stage 10: 23rd 9'56" (tough stage)

Rest day tomorrow.

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