Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Heart Was Broken In Grenoble

We were in Grenoble today for the time trial which would determine the winner of the 2011 le Tour de France. I came here hoping Andy Schleck would win, I really love that guy. Andy was wearing the maillot jaune heading into today’s stage and as I told the folks in my group, “It’s his to lose.” Andy is not very good in the time trial. He has improved in the last couple of years, but needs more improvement as this is his weak spot. Cadel Evans of Australia beat out Andy today in a fantastic time trial performance and after finishing second twice, will now wear the maillot jaune en route to Paris tomorrow as the winner of the 2011 le Tour. Andy will finish second for the third year in a row, but at least this year, his brother, Frank will be alongside him in the third place position. Maybe 2012 will be Andy’s year.

We had another exhausting day today. We had made plans with our guide to meet downstairs in our hotel at 10:45. At 9:30 she called and said we needed to be down at 10:00 with our luggage… I was in the middle of repacking. Thankfully, I got it all done on time.

We headed to our viewing area where we had a catered lunch but no place to sit down – that was a big bummer. It was raining on and off during the first hour or so but cleared up not long after we arrived. The wind was blowing and it was quite cool. I had to wear a jacket again. I could get used to this. By the late afternoon, when the leaders came through, the sun was out and it was warming up.

Our viewing location

A rider coming through

Once Andy went through (he was the last one) we watched the finishes on TV, which is how we discovered Cadel had won. We then went to the train station where we were to catch the 7:20 train to Paris. We waited around the train station for a bit because we had an hour or so to kill before the train loaded. Then as we were walking to the train, Bernie spotted a familiar face but couldn’t come up with the name, it was Bob Stapleton from HTC. He is the team manager. So, I went up to him and said, “Mr. Stapleton, may we have a picture with you?” He said, “Of Couse, where are you from?” and then Bernie’s wife Catherine jumped in beside Bob for a photo and said she was from Canada. It was pretty funny. Anyway, I then got my photo with Bob and told him I was from Alabama and that I was a Cav fan!! I love me some Cav! He was very nice and was taking the same train as us although we didn’t see him again.
Me, my red nose and Bob, looking off in the distance

We arrived in Paris at 10:20 and took the metro to our hotel. When we got out of the metro station, we saw the Arc de Triumphe, and I can also see it from my hotel room window. Amazing.

Tomorrow is a big day. I have a seat in the grand stands and am looking forward to a wonderful end to the best le Tour de France in a very long time. I saw a tweet from David Millar (Team Garmin-Cervelo) earlier about passing little Tommy Voeckler on the road and how broken he looked. I’ve just gotta say folks, what an amazing tour little Tommy Voeckler had. As much as I wanted Andy to win, I would not have been disappointed if it had been Voeckler. He had the whole of France on his shoulders and rode magnificently. He should be extremely satisfied with his performance and for holding on the maillot jaune for as long as he did. It was a beautiful thing to watch. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and to my dad’s arrival on Monday morning. Pray he has a safe flight. Love to you all!!

1 comment:

Erika said...

I noticed no one commented on this post, so I thought I would "back track" and leave one!
I hope your nose is better - sunburns hurt :(