Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TdF Stage 16 - Cuneo to Jausiers, 157km

That was an incredible race. All aspects of it! I must say that what impressed me the most was the moon like landscape of the Cime de la Bonnett-Restefond. It was amazing but I, an excitable weekend warrior, can only imagine riding in the oxygen depleted atmosphere surrounding the mountain which reached 2,800 m in altitude.

The amazing La Bonnett

The rides, from the lone 110 km effort of Schummaker to the final sprint by Frenchman Cyril Dessel, were all unimaginable to any of us who haven't experienced something as hard as those climbs, the speed of those bunches as they start going upwards and the environmental conditions that come with it. I believe they are "cape less" superman type of guys.

Well deserved French victory

And on the subject of bikes, as much as I feel sorry for the 21 years old South African champion, John-Lee Augustyn provided a great amount of entertainment as he lost control of his machine, hit the man-made embankment and flicked himself over and down the rock covered terrain. He was lucky. Still, he would not have made his way back up if it wasn't by the assistance of some guy watching the race. I can't say the same for his bike which kept sliding down and out of sight. Spectacular!!!

Augustyn on his way up to a 5,000 Euros bonus

OK, this is what I witnessed (reduced to point form due to my limited amount of time to write while at work today) from my semi-comfortable position in front of the TV, while sipping a hot lemon & honey drink (not a glass of red as some that know me would expect but I am trying to shake off this week long cold and sore throat)-: XXXX

Stage 16 - Cuneo to Jausiers, 157km

Ride of the day: John-Lee Augustyn

Crash of the day: John-Lee Augustyn

Rider of the day: Andy Schleck

Domestique of the day: Andy Schleck

Best Team: Frank's Team

Stage result:

1. Cyril Dessel(Fra)

2. Sandy Casar (Fra)

3. David Arroyo Duran (Spa)

How would you like those two fetching you water bottles as you climb?

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