Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Tour de France 2013 Photos.

A Skoda hat, a Skoda hat, some Cochounou sausage and a Skoda hat,

Pee Emm You, Pee Emm You,

Some Cochounou sausage and a Skoda hat.

So sorry, the Caravne Publicitaire has gone past me twice in recent weeks, and both times it has prompted that inane ear-worm. Seeing as how the only known way to rid yourself an ear-worm is to share it, I give it to you. And to think, all you wanted from this blog was a Sensa Umbria review or a picture of Peta Todd.

Well, where to start? I've done London-Oxford, am preparing to do a fast London-Cambridge, have been to see the Tour de France again, have had many, many thoughts about Chris Froome and the controversies (some founded, most speculative) that follow him, and I've got a shedload of photos. Oh, and I also journeyed back to the 1990s and gave mountain biking a try.  That's a whole bunch of stuff to write about, and I've been on an island with no internet connection for the best part of a fortnight, so it's all backed up a little.

I guess I'll start with the photos, as serious subjects like Chris Froome and bike rides deserve a dedicated post of their own, without an ear-worm intro. Credit for these photos belongs to my father-in-law, a better and more patient photographer than I am.

James, an extremely dedicated fan. We were on the barriers eight and a half hours before the race came through. James was there before us. Long before us, if his sunburn was anything to judge by. 

I liked having the Arc de Triomphe as part of the route, but it took a little tension out of the inevitable Paris breakaway-when the race hairpins on the end of the Champs Elysees the breakaway riders can take the bend much, much faster than the chasing peloton, which keeps hope alive for longer. Still, this was definitely more photogenic, and it's vanishingly rare that a Paris breakaway stays away anyway. 

Most of the riders who did the Randonee did it in official yellow t-shirts, but not Moustachioed-Polka-Moose.

We were on the Arc de Triomphe and this flypast looked beautiful. It must have been even more spectacular looking up the Champs Elysee through the arch itself.

Sky leading the pack into the first lap.

More on this later.

Euskatel riders near the back? Anyone would think they didn't like cobbles or something.

The Boy David enlivens the stage with a long break. Hopefully it wasn't some sort of final TDF gesture.

There was a brief spell when it looked like some sort of Anglo-Belgian alliance was pulling for Cav, not least when Froome and a couple of other Sky men were mixed in and driving with OPQS. There's no denying it, Kittel is really, really fast, and can give Cav a fight in the sprints, but I do think that potholes on the Champs Elysees and a misfiring leadout train conspired to take Cav out of the fight a few times as well. Can't wait to see the two of them go head to head once OPQS have completed their rebuilding of the old HTC train by signing Renshaw. 

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