Did you catch today’s stage of the Tour de France? It was fantastic!
Andy Schleck broke away. And the tour leaders let him.
Cadel Evans finally gave chase.
Thomas Voekler rode his heart out to keep the maillot jaune.
Alberto Contador cracked.
Andy hung on to take the stage, but not the jersey, and the bike race is on, people!
Tomorrow night at Cyclefest, we’ll be screening Stage 19, the Alpe d’Huez, a special and brutal stage. A little trivia for you… each of the 21 switchbacks on the Alpe d’Huez has a sign listing stage winners over the years. While I’ve never ridden the Alpe, I drove it some years ago, paying homage on the seventh bend to Andy Hampsten, the first American to win the Alpe, claiming victory in 1992 for Team Motorola. Every time the Tour goes up the Alpe, the winner’s name is added to a sign. [Thanks to Pedal Dancer for this list.]
Bend # 21 (1) Fausto Coppi, and (22) Lance Asmstrong (at the bottom)
Bend # 20 (2) Joop Zoetemelk, and (23) Iban Mayo
Bend # 19 (3) Hennie Kuiper, and (24) Lance Armstrong
Bend # 18 (4) Hennie Kuiper, and (25) Frank Schleck
Bend # 17 (5) Joaquin Agostinho, and (26) Carlos Sastre
Bend # 16 (6) Joop Zoetemelk
Bend # 15 (7) Peter Winnen
Bend # 14 (8) Bret Breu
Bend # 13 (9) Peter Winnen
Bend # 12 (10) Luis Herrera
Bend # 11 (11) Bernard Henault
Bend # 10 (12) Federico Echave
Bend # 9 (13) Steven Rooks
Bend # 8 (14) Gert-Jan Theunisse
Bend # 7 (15) Gianni Bugno
Bend # 6 (16) Gianni Bugno
Bend # 5 (17) Andrew Hampsten
Bend # 4 (18) Roberto Conti
Bend # 3 (19) Marco Pantani
Bend # 2 (20) Marco Pantani
Bend # 1 (21) Guiseppe Guerini (at the top)
The 2011 Tour de France ends on Sunday. With the Scheck brothers working double for yellow, Evans bearing down relentlessly (Saturday’s time trial will be big for him), Voekler desperate to keep the miracle alive and all four contenders with in 1’15″ of each other, tomorrow’s stage should be a doozy. Join us!