So we’re a little balled up in traffic here trying to get out from the finish area, but I thought I’d call while I still had some cell coverage. We’ll be heading into the thick of the mountains from here so you never know.
Hey I know I’ve gone on about how soft the French riders can be and then we’ve had two French riders win the last two stages. I’ve always thought that the French riders could win stages, but this is France and nobody does anything quickly over here…it isn’t like New York City here where if you don’t hustle you get flattened! I mean there’s just no sense of urgency in France, so yes, they live longer, but to the point, I don’t think a Frenchman will ever win the Tour de France. In fact, if the stage today was an all out battle between the top guys, there wouldn’t be a French rider in the top 20.
The problem is that it’s more than a cultural issue. There are plenty of good, young French riders, but the problem is that the moment that show some promise they get a million dollar contract – they don’t know what it means to struggle. Tommy Voeckler didn’t grow-up in France and so while he has plenty of French fans on the side of the road, he’s not well liked within the French peloton because he works too hard.
(interruption) “Hey, you can’t block this route…we need to get out! What is this nimrod doing?! What is this guy thinking?! He’s trying to back his tour bus down a sidewalk. Oi mate, that won’t work!”
You know, as frustrating as it can be to be here, it’s good for me because it helps me remember how good it is back in the US of A.
As for the stage today, it was full of attacking and aggressive riding – it’s what the mountains of the Tour de France bring every year. If Cadel is going to have any chance, he cannot let Wiggo dictate the tactics. Holding the status-quo won’t work for him because the Sky Team is firing on all cylinders. Still, I don’t think most people appreciate how hard Cadel’s guys are working for him. The BMC team is doing a tremendous amount of work before the climbs to Cadel in position. Like I said, team Sky is flying now because they have the yellow jersey and it makes everyone on the team rider harder. Cadel knows how to win the race, he’s the leader of his team and he needs to step-up and crush it.
The stage tomorrow is going to be a barn burner and if the people reading this don’t bother to tune in they might as well take up another sport –everybody will be all in!