Some years ago i chanced on Yves , the cousin of Catherine Marsal , on the route of the Tour de France . He and his Parents were kind enough to accommodate me in their home in Peltre ,to the Southeast of Metz ! My previous visit to Metz , was when i arrived on the Saturday night at the YHA / Auburge Jeunesse in central Metz for the Sunday Time Trial . I spent the Sunday morning riding around the Metz area on the bike visiting the Team hotels as the teams prepared for the Time Trial . I recall meeting quite a few of the big name racers involved in that situation before they went into the compound , only accessed by those wearing the " dog collar " denoting VIP status !
Yves is a Professor of Maths and had been involved in Cycle racing to the extent that his principle car was a retired team car , a Citroen Estate car with the roof mountings for team bikes still in place . Over the years since then , i would duck into Peltre and either stay overnight or leave a parcel of Bidons on his doorstep should he not be available . On one occasion i left with the bigger parcel , since his mother gave me a large parcel of fruit from their orchard , cherries that lasted many days . On occasion we have met up at the " Le Tour " in a variety of " Villes Depart " either by arrangement or by chance .
One occasion that i recall was in Sete , where he was holidaying , and another time was on the occasion that i once again met Laurent Fabius , currently the French Foreign Minister , when he was a guest of ASO at the Ville Depart Village in Perpignon ! M. Fabius has had a chequered political career in that he has been a Premier of France in the Mid 90's as well as the subject of " Political Backstabbing " when there was the " Blood Transfusion Scandal Case " ! Seems there is another Scandal in France about to erupt , as the home and office of former President Sarkozy was raided in the past week ! So far we have seen former Presidents such as Jacques Chirac and Giscard Estagne embroiled in controversy in recent years .
Whilst doing this post , instead of being in Metz , as planned , i am sitting in front of a TV , watching the last 60km of the " Le Tour " as it heads into Metz ! At the 60 km to go there was a cote de B. , which became such a choke point , that at that point , the breakaway was at 1 min 30secs and so with bikes colliding , ALL behind the " Maillot Jeune " , were standing around whilst a few wheels were exchanged ! This extra time has allowed Zabriskie and the other three to stay away , so far to the 15km mark where they enjoy a 15sec advantage . Dave Z. was alone in the last kilo but was swept up in the last metres , once again the other three lost confidence in their ability to work together , so Dave made use of his time trialling skills to see if he could stay the course .
At 25km before the finish , another collision brought down many of the principle racers including Frank Schleck and Al Valverde , but causing several casualties and two abandons , thus at 15km they are 2 1/2 mins in the rear , finishing 2 mins down on the day ! Several other notables such as Scarponi trailed in with this group . King Cav came in about 5 mins down on the day and must have been wondering how he was going to answer those demanding interviews . Peter Sagen in taking the victory in front of Greipel denied him the third in a row which was last achieved by Mario Cippolini . Matt Goss came in third after his train had dominated the last several kilometres before Big George led Cadel to the front for a short pull to close down the breakaway .
Eurosport Extra collared Dave Z. for an interview and then tried to raise the Lance subject with him which saw a quick termination of that interview . Stupid of them to think he wants to discuss Lance after all that has been going on these last few days