Wednesday, July 11, 2007

TdF Stage 4: Hope For A Legacy

One of my favorite lines from the classic mini-series Brideshead Revisited comes when Charles (Jeremy Irons) hears that his best friend and man-crush Sebastian is gravely ill, naturally wants to rush to his side, and breathlessly tells his father he must go. The inimitable John Gielgud, as the enigmatic father, gives a vaguely quizzical look and asks, "Do you hope for a legacy?" Today I'm thinking of a different kind of legacy, but such are the twisted workings of my mind, do forgive me.

For most riders, the conventional wisdom goes, winning just one Tour stage sets them up for life. They all know this, and often toss on a little extra in their victory salute, to ensure that immortality will be theirs. It may seem a little cheesy or silly, but you know what, it works. Carlos Sastre has distinguished himself a number of times, but I always remember him with that baby binky. And one of my all-time favorites is the slick arrow salute of Juan Antonio Flecha on that steamy airport runway a few years ago. Not only a great image, but the explanation (Flecha means arrow) requires repeating his name, so you never forget it. Ever since that victory, I look out for him, and smile when he's animating the race, as he did today in the breakaway.

Also in the breakaway was Sylvain Chavanel, proof positive that a failed break is not always lost in the shuffle. For who can forget the gentle tap on his shoulder by Lance Armstrong as he cruised by Chavanel on his tear up Luz-Ardiden in 2003. I can't tell you how many times I re-played that, but maybe that just proves what a geek I am!

As much as Al Trautwig frustrates me, I felt genuinely sorry for him today - I can't believe he didn't pick Thor Hushovd this time! Guaranteed awkward ribbing on the pre-race show tomorrow, can't wait. ;-P

I would give anything to see a picture of Dave Zabriskie with his basket of apples; if anybody knows of one, for heavens sake, let me know!

I know cyclists aren't choirboys, but there are all of those lovely sporting gesture traditions, like the handshake between Christian Knees and Flecha before they got caught at today's finish. The contrast between this and the ever-intrusive promotion of cage fighting on Versus this year never ceases to alarm me. Especially when poor Phil Liggett has to read that copy, what must he be thinking? And most frightening when you don't get to the remote quick enough and the actual show comes on! What a strange world we live in.

Sending LiveStrong thoughts out to Sebastien Joly, diagnosed with cancer in the midst of great form.


cat2bike said...

Okay, Julie, why did DaveZ, Freddie, and Tom Boonen get fined for "what kind of behavior???"
And surely Dave will be proud of that basket of apples!!
I have trouble finding my way around Cycling; must be my age! So point me in the right direction if you find something cool!
I love your stage reports!! I hope you do it the whole race!!


cat2bike said...

Did you see Rant's post about hisp ride with Floyd in Chiciago???!!!! WAY COOL!! It was for the Floyd Foundation about his hip. That is going to grow after all this other stuff is finished taking up his time!
Bill Hue and his wife were part of it and I think so ortho docs in the area! GREAT STORY!!

Julie said...

T - yes, I saw Rant's story, fun stuff. As I'm sure you saw, DZ talked about the apples in his VN video, very sweet! (Dave I mean, but I'm sure the apples were too!)

Anonymous said...

The thing about DZ that kills me is that you never know if he's "serious" or joking! I do believe his middle name is "Wry". :) Plus, the fact that he leaves most of the press corp dumbfounded & unsure of his intent makes it even funnier.

I've missed any info about Vino's ankle, so can you fill me in? Was he involved in one of those early crashes?

Yesterday, when I read that Thor had won, my very FIRST thought was "oh, good, Al will get some points!" LOL! Poor Al. I couldn't BELIEVE he didn't pick him! Who's your pick for Stage 5?

susie b

Julie said...

Susie - yeah, I think some of that stuff about the apples was tongue in cheek, but I'm sure he did really appreciate the kind woman (unless she wasn't kind, and he was *really* being sarcastic, who knows!)

Vino has been mentioning his ankle since the Prologue, so it's something he came into the Tour with. I hadn't read about it anywhere else, so I don't know what the nature of it is, he just keeps saying it's bothering him, and says he keeps showing it to the team osteopath.