Tour de France 2014 – Etape 6

Arras to Reims

Winner: Andre Greipel

Some wondered what had happened to the top-end speed of the other German sprinting titan, Andre Greipel. Consider that question answer. My favorite Pollack, Michael Kiwatkowski gunned it off the front with about two kilometers to go, giving hope to fans that he might make it stick. If the thin dude doesn’t look strong, I think he answered that question.

He was caught and in the wild field spring that ensued, Greipel came to the front at just the right time and held off the horses chasing him. Alexander Kristoff was second, again. Sagan was fifth. His frustration was clear on the podium. Though he holds both the sprint and best young rider jerseys, Sagan wants a stage win as well. He’ll have to keep on charging.

Six stages in and we have four stages won by two Germans, one win from the Italian road race champion and Maillot Jaune holder, and one from the Dutch ex-crosser. This is turning into quite an amazing Grand Tour!

2014 Tour de France – Etape 5

Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut

Winner: Lars Boom

Have you ever wished they’d fit Paris-Roubaix into the middle of a Grand Tour? Well, today’s stage provided that. In the wind and the rain, the race was blasted apart over the cobbles. Even though the organizers removed two secteurs, the race was still a battle with the road and the elements. Defending champion Chris Froome crashed twice and slumped into the team car before he even made it to the cobbles.

Crashes galore, including one by Kittel, meant the racers were fighting just to keep the rubber side down. A fast pace was set in order to get onto the cobbles at the point end and avoid the crashes. Despite the conditions, the stage was completed in an utterly astounding 47 kilometers per hour. If this doesn’t mean much to you, see if you can get up to this speed on a flat road. Then see how long you can hold it. PROs exist in their own realm of awesomeness. Yet again, I have a new level of respect for the Skinny Men in Lycra. Fuck, that is fast.

Nibali flew across the cobbles like a man possessed, giving a big Fuck You sign to the 500-1 odds bookmakers placed on his win.

An incredible display of timing and power saw Lars Boom, the Dutch hardman with oh…a cyclocross World Championship on his palmares denied Nibali the win, but he finished only nineteen seconds back, putting huge time into his rivals Valverde and Contador. He was led home by the Danish do-it-all’er Jakob Fuglsang.

What a display! We know Nibali can fly down mountains, now we know he can fly over the pave du Norde. Fantastic!

2014 Tour de France, Etape 4

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille, 164 kilometers

Winner – Marcel Kittel

Um, can you say three for four? Yep, Marcel Kittle did it again, winning his third stage out of four. Wow, he continues to impress each day. Peter Sagan finished fourth today, with Alexander Kristoff showing his Milan SanRemo win wasn’t a fluke. No one can catch Kittle at this point.

Etape 3

Cambridge to London, 155 kilometres

Winner: Marcel Kittle

Steaming into London after a short stage, guess who pulled off another spring victory? And guess who finished a pissed off second? Yep, Marcel Kittle won again and Peter Sagan had to go home as first loser, again. That is going to motivate him to hunt a stage win in the near future.

Impressive stage with some incredible scenery. Kittle himself stated that is was as majestic as riding on the Champs-Elysees in Paris for the final stage.

This guy is fast, his team knows how to position him, and he can go long-range or short-range. He’s the real deal, it seems.

Etape 2

York to Sheffield, 201 kilometers

Winner: Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Astana

Wow, some professional cycling journalists were just stating that Nibali had a tendency to go too early, too often. How about that finish? Seems like he got the timing down just right!

Last Sunday he won the Italian road championship, this Sunday he wins a Tour de France stage. What a week!

Etape 1

Leeds to Harrogate, 191 kilometers

Well, the 101st Tour de France is here and while Leeds is not quite Corsica, the scenery was still rather spectacular. With the Royal Family, plus his own family in attendance, Mark Cavendish was excited to pull on his first Maillot Jaune of his career. Sadly, he crashed in the final kilometer, seemingly after he initiated contacted with Simon Gerrans. He hobbled across the line, but his shoulder was heavily damaged and he did not start on Sunday.

Marcel Kittle, the fast German sprinter from Giant-Shimano avoided the wreckage and outkicked the fast Slovakian, Peter Sagan.

Talk about the highs and lows of the biggest cycling race. Agony and elation all within 500 metres of the UK tarmac.

I’m continually surprised at how people choose to express themselves verbally. Not only do I find what they say imprecise, but it’s also derivative.

Literally.

Obsessed.

Grow (your business).

None of these make much sense. You either actually don’t mean what you’ve just stated literally. Or, you tell so many Pinocchio stories that you have to alert your listeners that you’re not lying. That’s sad, isn’t it? Equally shallow is the desire to declare you are “obsessed” with something. Obsession isn’t a good thing, it’s a bad thing. Relax. The world is big, and open, and wide. Enjoy the fact that you can generally pick and choose what you pay attention to with your mind and spirit. Have fun with it, don’t get too bogged down with one thing. And don’t assert how cute it might be to be obsessed with something. Move on, find something new to appreciate. Don’t get hung up or caught up. Please.

You can grow a carrot. You can grow a turnip. You can’t grow a business. You can’t grow “healthy people” either.

I think such wording and phrasing springs from the feeling of hopelessness and loss that you are just one of the billions of humans on the planet. I’m lost. I’m alone. How do I make my mark?

A few minutes of fame, a grandiose statement, a bald overstatement.

Instead, love your friends and family, appreciate your good fortune, and just be okay with speaking truthfully and not feeling compelled to exaggerate and falsify.

It didn’t do Pinocchio any good, and it won’t help you in this life either. Good luck!

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