Le Tour de France 2023

I've watched the Tour de France for an awful lot of years but this has been the best yet. You couldn't make it up but I missed the 1st stage when the Yate boys came 1st & 2nd. the battle between the Dane and the Slovenian has been incredible. At first I thought that Pogacar was 'using' but in fact he was using up his reserves of energy and this became crystal clear in the time trial where, barring mishaps/bad luck he lost this year's Tour.

Today we saw something that rarely if ever happens, the long term breakaway, bar one of the four actually made it to the finish line before the pelaton and the sprinters. It was amazing and I was ranting and raving for those truly heroic souls to make it - three did. All four should share the most aggressive riders jerseys. Compared to the grossly overpaid footballers/American footballers and rugby players, these pro cyclists made them look like a bunch of pathetic plonkers. Footballers complain if they have to play 2 matches in one week. These guys race for up to 5 hours a day, 6 days a week in incredible heat up mountains with unbelievable gradients.

I've ridden up the Puy de Dome, that's incredibly hard but it's the ride down that takes real balls. You can reach speeds of over well over 70 miles per hour with zero protection and that was with my wife who was ahead of me. One mistake can take you over barriers into sweet f/a of 500/600 metres, get it wrong and a bodybag awaits you. These guys do this for 3 weeks. It's about time that those in charge gave the same respect to the women. All in all this is undoubtedly the greatest sporting spectacle on earth. We were lucky, where we used to live one year the TdF came right past our house on a potentially dangerous corner, if it had been wet there would have been an almighty 'chute'. Unless you have witnessed the Tour coming past you have no idea of the tension in the moments before the Tour comes past. The Gendarmes always shout out "their coming". Even our two dogs upstairs at the kitchen window got involved. There's a wonderful cameradie among the spectators - like I say - the greatest sporting event on earth - vive le Tour.
 
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It is a truly remarkable event. The fitness and skill of the riders amazes me. That and the technology of the bikes and support gear. The TDF is the pinnacle, but La Vuelta and Giro are tough too.

The only blot on the landscape is the behaviour of some of the attention seeking 'supporters'.
 
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I'm currently watching the highlights; I have to say that the rivalry between Pogacar and Vingegaard has made this years special, and seeing them turning themselves inside out to get up that hill yesterday really shows just how much pain they go through; after miles and miles of climbing, they still Sprint to the finish. Plus you get the scenery and occasional Chateau/ruins or some display made out of hay bales and tractors. Just seen a barking dog in a polkadot, what more do you need?
 
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The only blot on the landscape is the behaviour of some of the attention seeking 'supporters'.
Yeah, you see a lot more people holding out their cell phones. I watched a clip yesterday of a rider getting hit in the face while sprinting for the line at 65kph. His sunglasses flew off, but he managed to stay up. Of course, he had to sit up, and lost the sprint. Hopefully, the spectators phone was destroyed.

jeff
 
There was a time when there was pretty good coverage of the Tour here on TV,
Jeff I am completely with you on this. Where TF is this being covered for free? I already pay a huge cable bill every month. I found a site that offers it as a monthly subscription but I ask myself, do I wish to support this?
I think you know the answer.
Same with our local soccer (football) team. The Vancouver Whitecaps have lost my support for going this route. It was their choice.
 
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I'll never forget the 2021 Tour where some stupid women with a sign took out Tony Martin (and many others went down as well). The Police tracked her down later and arrested her.

jeff

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Being danish, I hope we are allowed to brag a little :cool:
As @billshurv just said, yesterday was insane, and Jonas Vingegaard even more.
3 days ago the distance between him and Pogacar was 10 seconds, yesterday after the race it was 7 min. 35 sec. in favor of Vingegaard.
Truely exciting and indeed insane :love:
 
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