Homeboy: Viva Le Tour De France
I will sum up this year’s 2003 Tour de France in one word, WOW!!! Ever since 1995 I am glued to any coverage of the Tour I can get my hands on (I was so happy for OLN two years ago) and this year is one of the best I can remember.
Le Tour 03’ has everything you could want … awesome sprinters action the first week, the beautiful Team Time Trial, and guys slugging it out in the mountains like it was the 9th round on Friday Fight Night. Iban Mayo dropped down the gauntlet on Alpe d’Huez and put a dent in the infallibility of Lance’s mountain prowess. Now that was awesome.
Mayo when climbing Alpe d’Huez had his jersey unzipped making it look like a cape. In a flash of Liggetism brilliance I made the sly comment of, “You might as well call Iban Mayo Superman with that orange cape, cause he is flying up that mountain!!” Speaking of Superman, Tyler Hamilton is my newfound hero for everything cycling. I liked the guy last year, but this year after Liege, he made my list of favorite riders. Now, well let’s say I think he’s a rider who has some balls of steel! The sheer fact he is racing with a broken (or even fractured) collarbone is unreal, but doing it after the Giro’s shoulder thing last year, even more cool!
Now for those of you who say road cyclist should stick to their game and not venture out just look at what Lance Armstrong pulled off descending into Gap. Those skills my friends are the natural reflexes of any good cross racer. Lance has been known to sometimes frequent the local Texas cross event on occasion and it looks to have been a worthy investment. I know those winters on the cross bike have helped me on more than a few occasions.
Beloki’s leaving Le Tour was a big loss. He, Alexander Vinokourov, and others this year have been willing to give it a go against Lance in the mountains; adding more to this years tour some needed spice and mйlange that hasn’t been seen in the 4 year-reign of Lance. So there are 11 more stages and plenty of more action to come.
Back here in Belgium things are going really well. This past week I made the leading breakaway a local Kermis. It was the first time this year I made the leading break (not just the counter). It was really exciting to be able to lead the race and rack up some primes along the way. At first I thought I was going to be dropped as fast as the break formed, but after a lap I settled into a nice rhythm and just drove the pace with my three other breakaway companions.
In the end our group was reeled in half way through the race and I ended up in the main field as 15 or so guys rode away up the road. On paper it wasn’t a great result, but in reality it shows significant improvement in both my form and my strategy. I have three more Kermesse races before I leave for vacation and I hope to pull off a top 5 before I leave.
That’s all for this week… over and out!