"...a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
Monday, July 5, 2010
Tour de France 2010: Prologue
Fabian Cancellera's "13"
I wasn't sure whether I'd blog about the Tour de France this year. After all, I think last year I received one comment after writing something like seven or eight posts regarding the subject. So, this tells me that there isn't much traffic here that's interested in the TdF. (Actually, I probably receive little traffic at all. I'd be upset but...meh.)
However--and this is a big however--I find that when I rewatch a stage and write about it, I remember it better. I even remember parts of last year's race, simply because I wrote about them. (Heinrich Haussler sailing down a mountain riding his top tube comes to mind.) If I hadn't done that, many of those details would have faded from memory rather quickly.
Take Cancellera's upside-down 13. Flipping it supposedly fixes its bad-luck element. That's good to remember. And of course he did finish first in the Prologue time trial, beating out Tony Martin by around ten seconds, so there might be something to it!
I hadn't really thought much about this guy one way or another until I watched him win the Paris-Roubaix race a few months ago. Racing over BIG cobblestones laid by Napoleon, Fabian blew away everyone to such an extent that some nutjob accused him of having an electric motor secreted in the hub of his bike. Though it turns out there is such a product, I believe Fabian was right when he said the accusation was "idiotic."
Anyway, even though they're scanning all bikes now, no one takes the accusation seriously, and Fabian seems to have taken the accusation as a compliment.
This guy had the best time for most of the day. In the end, Fabian beat him out by only ten seconds or something. All in all, the times at the end of the prologue were so close together as to be inconsequential (iirc, the race will last something like 60 hours). Even the slowest riders lost something like only a minute over the lead. However, time trials seem to be a good way of looking at each rider individually, without their being helped by teammates. (Astonishingly, Andy Schleck, who came in third overall last year, lost over a minute to the lead. I guess he just had a bad day.)
Last year, Tony came in second in the infamous Mont Ventoux stage. Though I remember it, I'm glad I blogged about it. Amazing, that he and Manuel Garate, neither which had a hope in winning the overall race, combatted just for that stage win.