Archives for the day of: 7 July 2013

This week’s Travel Theme from Ailsa’s blog – “Where’s my backpack?” is Motion. I find this theme a tough one to shoot. I enjoy going to sport events trying to snap the action but find it difficult without the right very expensive equipment. But I have had a look at some of my old photos from travels and got a few (not perfect) photos to match this theme. As usual, all the images link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

The first photo was from our trip to Bangkok in Thailand. At university, studying transport engineering we were all told about how bad the traffic was in Thailand. This road was surprisingly free-flowing.

Bangkok_2009_0194psrsz

Still in Asia, I love travelling in Japan on the Shinkansen (bullet train). These marvels of engineering look fast even when standing still. Standing at Kyoto station, this train blasted through to its eventual destination.

Kyoto_2007_0438ps

My second trip to Japan was an opportunity to go and see the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka. I had first corner tickets, and I tried to capture the cars flying through turn 2 while in motion.

F1_Suzuka_2009_20091002_0043ps

The water in Australia is all about getting in and getting moving. All around the surf beaches, the local clubs always practice and compete in their surf row boats. It is awesome when they splash through the incoming sets of waves.

Maroubra_0068ps

Even when their isn’t surf, we always love to jump in. This was taken at Coffs Harbour, about six hours drive North of Sydney – beautiful spot.

Coffs_Harbour0109ps

Even underwater nothing stands still. We have been fortunate to dive around the Great Barrier Reef off of Australia’s North Eastern coastline. It truly is a natural wonder of the world. I took this photo while swimming in the middle of this school of fish. They were completely surrounding me.

Great_Barrier_Reef0037ps

Closer to home I snapped this next shot in 2011 at the Vivid Festival of Light in Sydney. The light trail under the Sydney Opera House is a ferry travelling past while I had the shutter open.

Vivid_2011_0108

Lastly, even though I took a break from posting about cycling, I had to include this shot of one of the French women riders in women’s downhill at the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. I got lucky and snapped her airborne on one of the jumps.

MTB_DH_Worlds09_0031

Check out some of the other blogger’s posts that can be found from Ailsa’s blog. There are some cool ones in there.

Was the Maillot Jaune competition just decided On this stage of Le Tour?

The Evil Empire (also known as Team Sky) moved their Death Star over the top of the Pyrenees and not only crushed the Rebellion (in my opinion this is defined as Garmin-Sharp, Orica GreenWedge, and BMC) but all other teams as well. The first of the big climbing stages, also contained the first Hors Categorie climb [side note – it is very funny listening to English speaking cycling journos trying to pronounce the word “hors” – invariably pronouncing it as either “horse” or “whores”], the Col de Pailhères. This is where the Tour starts getting its cool photo opportunities and the snaking peloton is captured around switchbacks up mountains.

tdf_2013-stage_8-peloton

The stage kicked off with Johnny Hoogerland (of flying into barbwire fame and he should have won last year’s Grey Jersey) going on the attack. He had a few others with him, including Christophe Riblon who won the stage the last time there was a climbing stage through these mountains. These two demonstrated much cement in trying to launch attacks.

But the Evil Empire led the chase from the peloton. But they held off their critical move, allowing others to try it on for a bit of showboating. Robert Gesink (from the team formerly known as…) and then Tommy Voeckler (the gurning champion of the peloton) both went on solo attacks. But the most impressive solo jump up the hill was from Nairo Quintana (Colombian billy goat racing for Movistar who no doubt honed his climbing skills running away from drug lords or FARC rebels). Others jumped out as well, but couldn’t match the stunning climbing of Quintana. Quintana crossed the peak first but lost a lot of his advantage going down the mountain before hitting the stage’s final climb.

tdf_2013-stage_8-winner

Sky Turns On the Gas

The chase group was starting to thin out. Evans (Champion and Legend), Schleck (Radioshack Leopard Tank), and Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) all conked out. This was a disappointing moment. The Froome-dog still had Contador with him (he told El Pistolero that he had some imported Spanish meat with him). More importantly, the Froome-dog still had Richie Porte with him and some other members of the Evil Empire.

With Contador and a couple of the others finally dropping off at 5km to go, the Froome-dog attacked and caught Quintana. Porte soon caught him too. These two put the knife in and finished it off. Froome-dog didn’t let off the gas and Porte is now clearly in second place for the Maillot Jeune.

Sky will now try and ride to Paris in yellow. Let’s hope someone puts some cement in their bidon and goes on the attack.

For a more serious assessment of the day’s racing check out:

CyclingNews – http://www.cyclingnews.com/tour-de-france/stage-8/results

VeloVoices – http://velovoices.com/2013/07/06/tdf-stage-8-sky-dominant-as-froome-storms-into-yellow/

SBS Cycling Central – http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/news/49874/Sky-and-Froome-destroy-Tour-field-to-take-yellow

The Cement Ladder – The Grey Jersey

Watching the toughest sportsmen in the world, I have decided to start a “cement” ranking that reflects truly great feats of endurance and the overcoming of pain (basically a bit of HTFU). Maybe ASO could make a special jersey, grey, for this category. The hunt for the Grey Jersey was on for young and old in this stage.

1. Nairo Quintana – solo attacking brilliance, though he eventually succumbed to the Evil Empire.

2. Richie Porte – doing all the work for the opportunity to gift the Tour to a teammate.

3. Christophe Riblon – tried hard to relive former glory.

4. Johnny Hoogerland – for not being able to win the Grey Jersey last year.

5. Jens Voigt – because he finished the stage and is the Jensie.

The Turbo Training Challenge

There has been a lapse in the challenge, due to sleep deprivation. The rest day may have to be a catchup day. Just like Cadel Evans I have blown up, but I will be able to catch up. I just need some sleep to recover from TdF induced insomnia.

%d bloggers like this: