Velogal's Blog

Friday, May 20, 2005

Stage 12 was pretty dull until the finish. The riders were just cruising along, laughing and talking to each other and to the camera motos. I got rather bored and with one eye on my monitor, I dug out my tattered and torn map of France and started taping all the torn creases together.

I’ve used this same map for every Tour de France trip and it shows... Wrinkled and water-stained, the map is marked with different colors for every year - the route, the starts and finishes and the places where I stay. It’s the rattiest-looking map you ever saw, and I absolutely will not use a new one. I actually use a huge, fold-up Michelin map of France and a large-size Michelin Tourist and Motoring Guide, which is just as beat-up. Then I also have a smaller Frommer’s Road Atlas of France that I take along. My weekend chore is to mark this year’s route - it is not a quick thing....

So I got the map patched together just in time for the finish, and were those guys ever haulin’! At the 10km mark, they showed Whitey’s (Mattie White of Cofidis: ex-Postie) heart rate and it was red-lined above his max. Benoit was flying and brought Paolo and another DC guy up front - I couldn’t tell if it was Michael or Pavel - Michael, I think. At about 6 km, they prudently let the crazy sprint teams take over and the finish was so fast that the ground cameras behind the line actually almost missed it. The re-runs captured it from the air. Petacchi is a mad machine of power - he’s awesome! Paolo remains second in the GC and all is well in the DC world....


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