oh to think what this race would be like if everyone was JUST riding their bikes.... I know "they say" that the race is too hard and that you have to do "something" to win but I don't buy it.
I am as gullible as the next, and I know all professional sports are dirty, but I love cycling - I love to watch the way the peleton works, the way the grupetto survives and the way the leaders can work together to build advantage.
But to think that just yesterday morning as we ate crepes (they are SO easy!!) filled with white peaches from the market and topped with wild bluberry (Myrtilles Sauvages) jam we talked about how wonderful it was to see Vino be such a hero for his nation and encourage young riders to continue.
I was stunned - and felt ill- when we got to Montpellier yesterday and saw all the papers. But we went to the city to see the sites and so we tucked all the papers into our packs and moved on.
Rick Steeves blows off Montpellier and I suppose I will thank him for not letting tourists know what a magical and beautiful city it is. The Arche, the Water Palace, the Auqeduct and the oldest botanical garden in France (thanks to Louis the XIV I believe) all barely readied us for the cathedral of St Pierre - referred to in another guide book as one of the poorest constructed chuches in Europe. The details and height of the exterior (fab gargoyles) protect the truest beauty held inside. The colored light pours through the giant stained glass windows and creates a kaleidescope of color among the pews and chapels. It was stunningly beautiful and we stepped back out to the cobbled entrance in amazement.
We found a smart bar in the city center to watch the Astana-less tour and quietly watched Rass' pass by Contador and Levi to take the stage - needless to say, this mornings news comes late. We wish we had been watching Cadel and Levi keep up with Contador and fighting off attacks from Allejandro Valverde instead of wasting any energy competing against someone who probably should not have started the race in London.
Anyways, I'd love to leave you with a picture of the famous vineyard just outside Aniane and some sunny sunflower but the machine is against me today... pictures tomorrow!?!?
Let's hope the tour today takes a different shape and that we can watch athletes on skinny tires and teams working together!