Tour de France
The Tour de France is on right now, reaching the first rest day after a wild first 10 stages of racing. Julian Alaphilippe (a Frenchman) is in the yellow jersey, who’s one of the great opportunists in the field, with a win at Milan-San Remo earlier this year.
The Tour is one of my favorite sporting events of the year. I’ve gotten familiar enough with the UCI Tour over the last 5 or 6 years that I enjoy all of the flavors of races — the big grand tours, the classics, and the world championship events.
But one of the main reasons it’s a special event for me is the sentimental nature of what’s gone on in my life in past years during the Tour: Elyse was born during the 2015 race, and I had my diagnosis and surgery during the 2017 event. One was a very positive experience, sitting home each day on leave holding the baby and watching the stages, and the second of course not so positive, but watching each day gave me something to hold my attention and follow to keep my mind occupied during that rough patch on the road to recovery.
In the past two years the Tour brings those times back to me. It is “just” a sporting event, but it’s a sentimental one, for me.
Yesterday’s stage 10 into Albi was suspected to be a relaxed flat day leading into the rest day, but it was anything but. Crosswinds, some complacent GC riders in the back of the peloton, and some well-timed attacks in the last 25km created a split in the field and a chaotic blitz for the line. The climb of La Planche des Belles Filles on stage 6 and De Gendt’s breakaway win on stage 8 were also incredible to watch. A great way to kickoff week 1 with a competitive race in the GC standings.