Tuesday, July 10, 2007

TdF Stage 3: The Cheese Stands Alone

Get back that "Fabulous Cancellara" typeset! Everyone will be reaching into their suitcase of clichés again with today's marvelous stage. I can see it now - What a difference a day makes - Cancellara made short work of the longest stage - It doesn't matter if it's the shortest stage or the longest, Fabian can get it done! (I wonder if anyone has won both the shortest and longest stages before, I'm sure it's in a record book somewhere.)

It's hard to write about the Tour without clichés. We've all got countless hours of Phil and Paul in our head for one thing, and if you've ever played P&P Bingo, you know they love their clichés. Which is not at all a knock - when you've called as many races as they have, how many new things can you come up with? If it fits, use it!

It's funny, this cliché thing. We see the same kinds of things in race after race, but it doesn't get old, it's rather what keeps us coming back, it's those things we love. We laugh or gasp with recognition, but it's also a new thrill each time. Because it is new - for this day, this combination of riders, this set of hopes and dreams and talent. I wouldn't want to miss a single minute!

I suppose it's more tradition than cliché, there's a fine line there, but I can never get enough of a guy going ahead to greet his family in his hometown, as Laurent Lefevre did today. And even on a languishing day such as this, watching the laughter and interchanges amongst the peloton keeps things lively. Even Gert Steegmans got a laugh out of a botched knee!

Things got crackin' after Stephane Auge went to snag that polka-dot jersey, a couple of days after he'd thought it was his. David Millar seemed content enough to let it go, but of course the other consequence was that the breakaway got a bit more serious. No matter how many times the break gets caught, the chase is still a heap of fun to watch, especially when they very nearly make it like today! I already knew the result when I finally got to watch the video, and I was still on the edge of my seat!

And then the biggest thrill of all - oh, why not - Fabulous Fabian. While the break and sprinters couldn't help but play a little cat and mouse, Cancellara took his big Swiss cheese ass and just plowed right through them all, declaring "get out my way" with his raw power. And the cheese stood alone at the line, in a much happier pose than yesterday.

Hat's off to Erik Zabel, for sorting through the confusion left in Fabian's Wake and nipping the line for second. Robbie Hunter up amongst it again, showing the Barloworld colors, his buddy Floyd must be pleased for him. And poor Mark Cavendish, finally got himself up there in the mix, I hope he's a little happier today! After reading Dugard's description of the finish, I'm so relieved there wasn't another crash. That's one thing I don't need to see in race after race.


cat2bike said...

Tactics, Julie!!! Fabian is a classics rider; he saw a chance and his gut said "GO" !!! Surprised everyone, except maybe his teammates! I read Chris Carmichael is comparing it to S17 06; opportunity, tactics, and what have you got to lose???

Great Post! I saw it this morning and when I watched again I was just as thrilled!!


cat2bike said...

Julie, did you read the article about DZ in VN? He says he's here to work as a domestique; so if he's looking for a place of safety and tranquility at the back of the peleton, why is everyone so worked up??? lol Read what he said to the Danish press about re-signing with CSC next year!!
Classic Dave!


Phil said...

VV also said: "The Swiss bear was down but not out; he came back to dinner, loud as ever, turning on Shakira full blast during dinner. And to make it worse, he tries to sing along." Brilliant!

The tivo did not record the last of yesterday's race so I set it for last night and added the program after it (which I will do every day now)so as not to miss these finishes.

Julie said...

Theresa - yes, I've been keeping up with DZ over at VN, articles and videos are always a hoot.

Phil - CVV was hilarious again last night, with the bad men stuff. On the Tivo, too bad that means you'll have all kinds of cage fighting on there! ::shudder::