Tour Talk – #TDF2019 @Le_Tour Stage 6

SPOILER WARNING (if you haven’t watched your recording)

The Tour continues.  Peter Sagan had an amazing sprint to win Stage 5 and Alaphilippe is still, as I write, in the Yellow Jersey.  Wellens is King.

They have moved from Alsace into the Vosges.  Stage 6 goes from Mullouse to La panche des belles filles, an uphill finish where stages have ended in the past.   One of the great things about the Tour coverage is the focus on landmarks along the way.  This morning, for example, they looked outside and inside a beautiful gothic church, the Collegiate Church of St-Thiebault.  Another they showed is a Cluniac priority founded by Peter the Venerable.

The finish of this stage, with its many climbs, is brutal.  It’s 160.5km and it has been extended an extra kilometer to wind even higher to the finish on a 24% grade.

The physics of the race is also interesting. A biker can consume around 7000 kcal on a day with lots of climbs.  That means that they have to be eating constantly, even during the race, not to mention hydration.  A sprinter like Sagan can generate some 1500 watts in a sprint.

Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about one of my old bikes, stolen from the basement of St. Agnes rectory while I was away.  A Raleigh, Reynolds tubing, Campagnolo Super-Record parts.  It was a great bike.  May the thief, if unrepentant, be tormented by boils and may his hand grow from the ground out of his grave.

Anyway, the graphics during the TV coverage is spectacular, especially the maps.

Campagnolo… hmmm… I have one of those BIG Campy corkscrews in my storage area.  I should dig it out for use during the Tour.

UPDATE: That was agonizing to watch.    New wearer of the Maillot Jaune tonight and tomorrow, the Italian Ciccone.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fr. Brady says:

    Another great stage with the breakaway surviving. I was way wrong with T.J. prediction ( I should have known), and G. Thomas surprised me early. It is always sweet to see new(ish) guys get their day on the podium and with yellow. 22%? Ladies and gentleman that is very hard. OW!

    Fr. Z, brother, what a loss on your bike. It is never too late to come back. Endorphins benefit the spiritual life.

  2. Charles E Flynn says:

    For those of you unfamiliar with the Campagnolo corkscrew:


    This is what you buy when you are absolutely fed up with wasting money on corkscrews that bend, break, or otherwise misbehave. Or, you cannot stand the thought of reading more corkscrew reviews.

    In the mid 1970s, I did three bicycle tours of Nova Scotia, two of them including the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. On one of them, I took a shortcut down a fire road (unpaved and wildly undulating) to try to get to a campground before dark. A patrolling Parks Canada truck intercepted me. A radio call was made to see if I should be allowed to continue riding on this road. I could hear the both halves of the call: “What is he riding?” “Fully Campagnolo Legnano”. “Let him through.”

  3. Fr. Brady says:

    My brother, the story of loss of that sweet, steel, Campy ride is still haunting me hours later. It is not like having a chalice stolen, but it is a beautiful, intentional, masterpiece of bicycling art. What level of hell does a bike thief find himself assigned to?

  4. Julia_Augusta says:

    Father Z, it’s not too late to get on the bike again. Don Camillo would approve.

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