Thursday, July 14, 2011


NOT AGAIN ! The road of the TDF is blockaded by the "spivs" as i arrive in " La Barthe " heading south for the Tourmalet . Getting past the queue i called into the first bar and they obliged by calling "17" for the Gendarmerie ! Told to call back the patron gave me a coffee then went back to work on his preparations but promised to call once again after 9am !

Taking the route to Bagnoles i found another gang wearing a semblence of " Accreditation and flouricent jackets standing in the middle of the road . It is " organised crime " as the next village a repeat performance and finally in Capvern the round point was blocaded so that i took the first available exit which took me away from my planned route to Tournay .

At the Piege i explained all and then having explained all to a variety of people and then i was asked to drive to the Gendarmerie at Tarbes West . By the time i explained all to the english speaking " Major " it was nearly 10am and as far as i know nothing has been done to apprehend these " vermin " !

LOst the chance to ride the Tourmalet once again so will follow the " dog collar route " to the last " HC " climb of today !

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cadel beats Contador once again !

Thankfully Cadel did not take the " Maillot Jeune " today ! Whilst i am glad to see Cadel doing well i am pleased that the TEAM do not carry the burden of defending the Yellow so early in this Campaign !

Being the leader so many times in past years and the team working their heart out only to lose must be dispiriting for the other team members . There will be many more opportunities in the last week of the TDF and the team are in better shape than the Garmin guys will be from all their efforts .

Wearing the " Maillot Jeune " in Paris is the only result that counts for the record books ! Can most people remember who came second to Lance each of the Seven years or even on one occasion ?

Friday, July 8, 2011


The TDF caters to all and today i came across a newly wed couple out of Randwick , Sydney , Australia . Hopefully they follow my advice and watch the big screen then move down to the team pullmans before the racers pass thus getting an up close look at the Aussies as they saunter to their team pullman , perhaps showing the Oz flag may result in a bidon or even a chat ; been there , done that !

Maybe it's me but i don't seem to see as many Aussies this year , perhaps those i give the "google "skippydetour " will leave a comment and let me know .

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cadel holds off Contador for the WIN !

All day the pundits were predicting a clash between Cadel and Gilbert but it became a " cat and mouse " episode where Contador tried repeatedly to slip through on the line but failed as Cadel threw his bike more strongly than "el pistolero" !

Never learnt how this throwing the bike on the line is done but then i don't race so never had the need , but it is a skill that was needed today . Cadel at 20km had a problem which meant a change of bike but my french was not good enough to follow the explanation and as 3 or 4 of the team waited to pace Cadel back into the Peloton we saw the spectacle of two of his team struggling to catch him because of his determination to get back into the fray .

Cyclingnews pointed out that Cadel's chain became an issue and so with the change of bike causing a lot of extra effort to get back to the front of the race it shows how powerful and assertive Cadel has become ! Looks like he will be initiating attacks at this year's tour instead of responding to others efforts .

Turned out to be a clear day at the " Arrivee "but i was fortunate to find a bar as the racers passed through 30km and the screen was about 10ft by 6ft and funnily enough i was the sole patron so i was able to see detail that usually is lost on the smaller screen . The numbers on the " Mur " looked a lot less than i had anticipated so there were many others like myself enjoying the action in front of a TV .

Evening is falling and the sun is out so it should bev a nice day tomorrow even though the prediction is changeable weather . With luck i will find a campsite that is dry by the time the tent goes up .

Friday, July 1, 2011

Presentation of Teams

Cadel refers to Lucien in the middle of us , as his No 1 fan .

Chris Horner enjoys meeting fans and was in good spirits after the performance in the Roman Circus scenario .

Rolf Aldag and Eric Zabel contribute to the success of KIng Cav and the troops .