Dave's Dogmatic Dribbles
2008 Tour de France - Stage 16
You know it’s truly been a rest day when nobody was arrested for mainlining EPO or snorting coke at a nightclub. Maybe the threat of a couple climbs in today’s stage kept the racers focused. Or, as it would be in my case, scared to death! Any road surface with an increase in elevation is not my idea of fun. It brings up bad memories of my childhood when I used to walk ten miles back and forth to school uphill both ways in a blizzard.
The start whistle hasn’t even blown when Sylvain Chavanel attacks! I bet his mother had to put him on Ritalin when he was a kid. Maybe he needs it again. As it turns out, Chavanel becomes part of a 24 racer chase group. There are 5 racers in front of them. While Sylvain has always been busy attacking, brother Sebastien was busy climbing into the team car. He’s done.
Schumacher has gone solo. It’s going to be a long lonely day for him. With less than 5km from the second summit, he’s joined by notables Popovych, Casar, and Hincapie among others. Maybe George is thinking about his second stage win in the mountains. The yellow jersey group is being whittled down to eight racers including both Schleck’s, Sastre, Menchov, Kirchen, Kohl, and Valverde. Wait a second; Michael Jackson is in that group! Oh, nevermind, its just Cadel Evans. Frank’s shadow has been awfully big today. Where is Vande Velde?
John-Lee Augustyn surges ahead to become the youngest racer over the top of the second climb. Moments later he becomes the youngest racer to slide down the mountain as he’s unable to negotiate a turn on the decent. He’s now descending on his stomach face first without a bike! He crawls back to the road. His bike is still sliding down the mountain. Poor John-Lee has no bike and the only team car in the race is minutes away. He’s a helpless spectator now as racer after racer goes by.
After a technical decent, Dessel is first to cross the line of a technical finish. Schumacher rolls in about a minute later. He gets the award for the biggest balls of the day. Menchov and Vande Velde lose time. Evans didn’t crack.
There was so much suffering today its make me want to cry. To make it easier tomorrow, there’s an additional Hors climb! We will have to wait until then to see who’s going to win the 2008 Tour de France.
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Super Dave (Enjoy my dribbles, dislike them? Got suggestions for improvements? I appreciate your feedback!)