Monday, July 16, 2007

REST DAY - OR A LULL IN THE STORM?

...AND ON THE NINTH DAY THEY RESTED. The Tour de France riders get two rest days in three weeks of intense racing. Today is the first, coming after 9 days of racing that ended with two difficult Alp mountain stages. Next Tuesday will be the second rest day, coming amid the steeper climbs of the Pyrenees in southwestern France.

WHAT TO DO ON REST DAY? What do riders do on rest days? They ride, for one thing. Each team will spend several hours in the saddle, just to keep in condition and rythmn. They'll visit with friends and family. Teams will hold press conferences. And they'll rest and sleep. The extra 24 hours is a brief respite to gather one's strength and wits for the rest of the Alps and Pyrenees over the next 8 days.


REFINING PREDICTIONS. Of course, rest day means fans and experts alike will be refining their predictions and figuring out what their respective favorite must do to make onto the podium in Paris. Like we haven't seen in recent years, this Tour seems to be wide open to the most wisely aggressive rider. I don't think this one will be won by playing conservative. Nor do I think it will be won by a rider who spends himself before the last Pyrenean stage. It's up for grabs. We'll see who grabs it.

1 comment:

john said...

Once again the French press is criticized. And once again with very good reason. Those outside looking in should ask "What would have been the reacrion of the (French) press if Rasmussen had been French?" I live in France and I have no doubt at all!
If the wearer of the Yellow Jersey had been French what would have been the reaction? I have no doubt at all.

In France we have seen, this year, excellent repetitive French swimming results. Has any of the French press asked whether these results have been "helped"? Nowhere! Have handbags and suitcases been searched by reporters (as happened with Armstrong)? Never!

It is time that the French press "grew up" and took their responsibilities seriously with an even hand. I have no idea whether Armstrong or Landis were "helped". Rasmussen neither. But the total bias of the French press leads any independant person to realise that, unless they are French successfuls, they have little chance of being treated fairly by a ferociously chauvin French press!

Since Hinault, in cycling, France has seen no serious contender for the Yellow Jersey. That has, no doubt, impressed the French press to "hunt" whoever and whenever they please - just as long as they are not French competitors.

It is time that the international sporting press took a stand in seeking fair treatment for non-French competitors who are consistently successful. If they are proved to be doped expel them, for sure. If only suspicions can be shown then give them the same treatment as French competitors.

Remember Zidane whose behavious on the field was so deplorable? Well, here in France he is a national hero!That speaks mountains, doesn't it!

John WILD
wildsecret@gmail.com