Thursday, July 22, 2004

alps to burgundy

> this morning we awoke even before the cows had returned home...5am.
> ughhh
> 3 cups of french coffee, you know, the super strong mega caffeinated stuff?
> yeah, that did the trick.
> we were on the bikes at 6am. this was for 2 reasons`;
> 1. the teams were staying up on the mountain and had to get down to the bottom for the
> stage start so the roads would be closed by 7:30.
> 2. we had to ride early and fast to get to the top of the col du Glandon before the
> roads closed and the race arrived.
> so we descended alpe d'huez just as the sun was coming up over the was cool.
> then we forced our sore legs to turns the pedals and carry us through the valley to the
> start of the climb to the top of the col du glandon. this climb is a 1st category
> climb
> of 22 km....that's really really long if you are self propelling yourself up the road!
> even more so if your legs are cooked from days of riding in the alps and hiking all
> over
> alpe d'huez to watch the time trial.
> while this climb was nasty in spots, the amazing views and scenery more than made up
> for
> all of the suffering we endured to get to the summit.
> at the summit we set up shop on the patio of the only structure up there, a restaurant.
> we sat in the sun and drank cokes, water, beer, and ate roasted chicken, pasta, and
> chocolate mousse, while getting the inside scoop on the impending NHL lockout from
> Curtis
> and Radek. summary`; it doesn't sound good. maybe they start playing in
> january...or
> maybe no season.
> radek is pumped that he got traded to montreal. closer to chez paree 8=)
> the race came by and it was so cool. we could see them approach from way down the
> valley. a break led by simoni cruised up with a 4+ minute lead. simoni was sporting
> a
> cheesy little thin goatee...very italian. 8=)
> the peloton had usps on the front though when they approached us bettini and another
> quick step guy led out virenque (with moreau on his wheel) for the king of the mtns
> points. Lance was surrounded by the team looking very content. there were already a
> number of guys off the back and this was the first of 5 big climbs today.
> once they passed we descended the glandon. this was a sick sick sick sick sick sick
> sick descent....narrow narrow narrow road with twists and turns and melting tarmac.
> plus
> thousands of cyclists trying to get too. very very very sketchy.
> needless
> to say we bombed it! huge adrenaline rush and not for the faint of heart....we had
> about 30 of us just flying down the mountain passing cars and weaving all over the
> place.
> yeah, it was probably dumb, but it was sooooo much fun!
> the funny part is that at the bottom we asked kevin livingston about the speed the
> racers
> did it and he said that we wouldn't believe how much faster they descend...he said it
> 's
> pretty scary. i can't even imagine bcz i thought we were flying.
> now we are at chateau gilly in burgundy and just finished an amazing dinner in their
> restaurant. it's in the cellar and the ceiling is that of an ancient
> cathedral....hard
> to describe. this place has been around for a long long time....8th century i hear.
> iberian gazpacho, fillet of beef, and tasty wines. good bread too, of course!
> time for bed now before a nice long ride through the wine country. flat, but windy.
> how about Lance! he is truly making a statement in dominating this tour.
> Chris and Melanie
> p.s. who is the ESPN guy that is doing their TdF coverage and also does the college
> gameday?
> p.p.s. it's time to stop thinking about it and book your trip to the tour de france.
> it's a must do.
> take care

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