Archives for the day of: 14 July 2013

Stage 13 was fireworks, Stage 14 was for those who wanted to break away.

It looks like the Jensie (Jens Voigt) took offence to me leaving him off the Grey Jersey points competition. The Jensie lead out the initial breakaway of four riders, but they were soon joined by quite a few other riders making the lead out group total 18 riders. Their destination was the beautiful city of Lyon and on the eve of Bastille Day (the French National Holiday) it was awesome to see the French public line the streets for the last 30km. This gave impetus to one French rider – Julien Simon to go out and attack for the win. 30km out from the finish he went out to hammer home Sojasun’s first Tour stage win.

Big ups! He absolutely put his head down to go for the win. The crowd was going crazy cheering him on trying to push him to the win.

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There were many chases from the breakaway group to pull him back and take the win. First was Michael Albisini (the only European rider with Orica GreenWedge), but he couldn’t make it stick. Then David Millar (also from Garmin-Sharp), but he couldn’t make it stick. There was quality in this breakaway group of riders. Big callout has to go to two of the other riders in this breakaway group; Cyril “Jean-Paul” Gautier (Showboating Europcar) and Jans Bakelants (Radioshack Leopard-Tank) who demonstrated earlier in the Tour the propensity to attack. These two along with Marcus Burghardt (BMC) and Albisini finally decided to make a real effort to chase down Simon. What they didn’t count on was the high strength cement that Simon had put in his bidons. But as Simon tossed his last cement filled bidon away he was caught unluckily with only 1 km to go. A few other riders caught up too as there was nervousness in the final sprint. But it was one of the Manx Missile’s (Mark Cavendish) teammates, Matteo Trentin, who rode hard in the breakaway but didn’t do much work up front who came from well back to pip them all for the win.

It was great to see the breakaway stick it and get away for the win. But I am sure it will be different tomorrow.

The peloton had given up on the chase knowing that jerseys would not change hands, but I fear for the Empire (Team Sky – boo-hiss) that this may have been another miscalculation on their part. Andrew Talansky from the Rebellion (Garmin-Sharp) was able to make up some 6 minutes on the GC leader, thus catapulting him alongside his teammate Dan Martin in striking distance of the GC. For the Froome-dog in the Maillot Jaune he has many chasers in groups of two who could really start blasting away at him; Mollema and Ten Dams (from the Team formerly known as Rabobank formerly known as Blanco now known as Belkin), El Pistolero and Kreuziger (from Saxo Tinkoff), and Martin and Talansky (from the Rebellion). More fireworks to come in the 100th edition of the race.

So it is onto Mont Ventoux, also known as the Beast of Provence, for Bastille Day – Celebration! It is even bringing out fond memories from some of my fellow bloggers of their assaults on the lunar landscape – for a fun read check out the Drunken Cyclist’s recalling of his climb http://thedrunkencyclist.com/2013/07/13/mount-ventoux-le-geant-de-provence-part-one/

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. After grueling stage yesterday, many riders went out to smash it in the breakaway group of 18.

1. Julien Simon – Should have won the stage.

2. Jens Voigt – the instigator of the breakaway.

3. Johnny Hoogerland – who should have won a Grey Jersey last year, tried to close the gap to the group of 18 but all by himself couldn’t do it.

4. Michael Albisini – Nearly pulled it off with many attacking moves shown, but was pipped.

5. Matteo Trentin – worked phenomenally hard in the stage the day before, and went out for the win today.

 

For a more serious assessment of the days racing check out:

CyclingNews – http://www.cyclingnews.com/tour-de-france/stage-14/results

VeloVoices – http://velovoices.com/2013/07/13/tdf-stage-14-french-dreams-dashed-by-trentins-last-minute-surge/

SBS Cycling Central – http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/road/news/50120/trentin-sprints-to-tour-stage-win-in-lyon

 

 

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog “Where’s my backpack?” is Simplicity. This one was a tough one for me. Looking through travel photos, I did not realise how cluttered a lot of the photos were. It would seem that the quest for simplicity is harder than first imagined. As usual, all the images link through to my larger photos on my Flickr site.

My first photo is of the flagpole that is on top of our National Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. The architectural design of the building itself is one of simplicity, but I think that the beautiful, yet strikingly simple design of the flagpole with its four arms is fitting of the overall design. Too bad the politicians inside don’t reflect the purity of this design through their fork-tongued carrying mouths.

Canberra_2009_0210

Visiting my brother in Toronto, Canada, afforded us the opportunity to take a little detour to Montreal. Montreal is an awesome mashup of Europe and North America with its own crazy and cool vibe to it. We took a break from being tourists one afternoon and had a set of macarons. It was a simple afternoon tea.

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On my second trip to Japan I went to Kanazawa, home to a vast array of artistic endeavours. It was raining a lot when I arrived as a monsoon storm had just hit the East Coast. Fortunately Kanazawa is on the West coast and avoided the brunt of the storm. Still I sought respite indoors as much as possible and its 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art provided that and a bit more. I am not a fan of a lot of modern art, but the building was uber-cool in its simplistic and clean design.

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Kanazawa_2009_20091008_0107

Shanghai in China is anything but simplistic, but upon flying out and returning home we had to use the new terminal. It was empty save for a few passengers on the two or three flights that were scheduled to depart from its gates. The terminal is straight and long, with gentle sloping roof. The simple curved motif on the roof ran for hundreds of metres inside the terminal.

Shanghai_HM2008_0517

The highlight of my trip to Washington DC, USA, was a visit to the Smithsonian Institute Air and Space Museum. When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, closely followed by a pilot. My dream is to still get my pilot’s wings one day soon. When I walked into the front door I was mesmerised. In there hanging from the ceiling was the Bell X-1 – the first plane to break the sound barrier. It’s design is strikingly simple from everything that came before it. It was basically a rocket engine with wings – cool!

Smithsonian_2008_0077

Take the time to have a look at some of the other bloggers posts. There are some keen travellers with a good photo eye amongst the posts.

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