I realized today that the good thing about bike racing is that you’re usually too tired to talk so you don’t have to worry about your freedom of speech. And that’s a good thing considering it’s not a right that’s guaranteed in Europe.
Naw, it’s all good but once you get enraged sometimes it’s hard to calm down. Three weeks of moving into a new hotel every night, all the bad sandwiches on the freeway, well, it starts to build on you. We’ve done a lot of talking in three weeks and off the set my French isn’t all that good and when you can’t communicate all that well it’s like having laryngitis. The only problem is that the less you can communicate the louder you yell so sometimes it’s hard to be a complete person. When I tell everybody that the best thing the Tour de France can do is move to Italy what I mean is for the whole three weeks, not just one stage.
I think what I’m saying is that I could really use a morning bike ride by now!
Today the peloton once again misjudged their timing. I always wonder after stages like today why the pack doesn’t turn it on 10k sooner. Instead of kicking it up with 30k to go they should start at 40k out. Still, you can never calculate how hard it is to get through these stages even when it looks flat.
Once again it came down to a two-man sprint. Just like yesterday you have two guys who don’t want to lose and who know this opportunity may never come their way again. It may be odd to watch, but they’re the only people who have a complete recognition of what’s at stale. Can you imagine working that hard and coming up three centimeters short? It’s like all other forms of racing, it’s man and machine, only cycling is the perfect alchemy between the two. To the observer it looks like everything is going in slow motion, but for the two riders everything is in hyper-drive and the whole effort is r4educed to a split second.
My prediction for tomorrow is this: Cancellara takes the stage and Sastre keeps the jersey.
Bobke’s Inside Line: Drive fast and carry a big crucifix. The Spanish people have it right; their cars are festooned with all kinds of religious icons and the cars are then filled with hope. Hope is all we have.