Monday, July 6, 2009

I like to watch

The Tour de France you pervs, the Tour de France!

Mind. Gutter. Out.

My love affair with the Tour began five summers ago. I had just moved back to Oregon after being in Idaho for school. My best friend and I had moved together and when we moved back we were both unemployed and living with my parents. There was nothing to watch during the day except Soap Operas and I just couldn't get into those and you could only fill out so many job applications. Then one day I turned on the TV and there was the Tour. I was hooked.

It was the Tour de France where Lance Armstrong was going for his 6th win and the following year he went for his record breaking 7th win. I was riveted. That summer during the month of July my parents were also having all the carpets in the house replaced. Watching the Tour gave me something to do while the carpet guys where there and it meant I didn't have to make small talk (something I can SUCK at) and it also was something that wasn't cheesy or embarrassing to admit I was watching. They would ask, "what are you watching?" and I would be all, "oh, you know, the Tour de France."

For some reason I was fascinated. All the jockeying and strategy. The Tour is not won by an individual, it is won by a team. Without the sacrifices of his teammates, Lance Armstrong would never have won a single Tour.

I have a whole new vocabulary...

GC: General Classification

Peloton: French for group, in cycling it means the main bunch of riders. When the main bunch splits up, there can be several pelotons.

Feed Zone: Designated riders from each team collect musettes for their teammates and pass them out.

Musette: A cloth shoulder bag handed to riders at feed zones filled with drinks and food. Fans go crazy trying to get one when riders discard them when they are finished eating.

Breakaway: When a solitary rider or group of riders pulls off the front of the main bunch. Strategy and luck have a lot to do with whether the break will arrive successfully at the finish line. If there’s a rider who’s considered dangerous in the overall classification, the other teams will collaborate to bring the breakaway back. But sometimes if a rider is so far down in the overall standings or if the main bunch is too tired to work, a strong breakaway can survive to fight for the victory.

Drafting: It’s easier to ride behind someone else than to ride at the front breaking through the air mass, so riders will take turns cutting the wind and then save energy riding on the wheel of the bike directly in front of them.

The Tour is 23 days long and the competitors ride everyday but 2. There are flat stages, mountain stages, and time trials. And...


There are two US sponsored teams, Team Columbia and Team Garmin, but they are made up of riders from around the world. Lance Armstrong used to ride with Team Columbia, which was known as Team Discovery Channel and prior to that Team US Postal Service. This year, Lance (we are on a first name basis) is riding for Team Astana this year and it is a team based out of Kazakhstan. I love watching Lance ride, he is such an amazing rider and so aware of everything that is going on around him.

But my absolute favorite rider is Big George Hincapie.
George Hincapie - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

He is currently participating in his 14th Tour. He is only 2 away from tying the record. While he has never won a Tour, he was Lance's right hand man in every Tour he won. This year they are on different teams and I wonder what that is like. George Hincapie is simply a great rider and a true team player.

Am I aware that this makes me a nerd. Yes, the nerdiest. And I am okay with that. Now, I must go, the finish for today's stage is just about upon us...

Happy cycling!


Anonymous said...

For some reason, when this is on tv, I am totally into it. Great post!

Ali said...

Looks like you've found your thing! :)

Alicia said...

i can honestly say i've never watched it! but maybe i should!!

Gabby said...

I was completely unaware this was going on right now! I'm all for men in bike shorts.


♥Aubrey said...

I've watched a few times...not bad to look at!!! Thanks for your comment girlie. You had me laughing with your about me section and then there's your pic :)- You're F.U.N. Don't be a stranger.

Elizabeth Marie said...

Hotties in tight clothing...needless to say, I am a big fan myself. Yes. and now thanks to you I'll know wtf they are talking about. YAY!

McMommy said...

I just forwarded this post onto my husband. He's going to fall in love with you....

mylittlebecky said...

my brother is way into cycling. way. seems like i should know more but alas i do not.

mylittlebecky said...

my brother is way into cycling. way. seems like i should know more but alas i do not.

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