Two more days until the riders reach Paris and the Champs-Élysées. Tomorrow’s time trial could very well determine who will wear the yellow jersey, and I’m really hoping it is Schleck and not Contador….but it’s kind of a long shot. Here is my recap of this last week of racing and I look forward to what lies ahead this weekend. Viva le Tour.
In yesterday’s Stage 17, the 11 mile climb up Tourmalet never produced any significant excitement between the top two riders and they crossed the finish line together. That is one nasty hill and I was thinking that Schleck might just pull something incredible out of his jersey pocket and get his lost time back from his chain incident.
I’m pretty sure Jens Voigt will be remembered for a long, long time following his performance in this year’s Tour de France. It won’t be for his stage wins or for holding the yellow jersey…it will be for his bravery and incredible attitude. He started things off with that amazing climb in last Tuesday’s Stage 9, then he solidified his label of courageous this week in Stage 16. Instead of re-writing the whole story, if you haven’t seen or heard about his incredible performance, take a look at this video and then read Jens’ comments as to how he refused to quit the race.
“The worst thing of all was that I almost got forced out of the Tour for a second year in a row. The problem was that the first team car was behind Andy Schleck, and the second had decided to go up ahead to hand out water bottles at the foot of the next climb. As a result I had no bike, because mine was shattered.
So then the broom wagon pulled up and was like, “Do you want to just get in?” And I said, “Oh no, I don’t need YOU!” But there I am with blood spurting out my left elbow and no bike. Finally, the race organizers got me a bike, but it was this little yellow junior bike. It was way too small for me and even had old-fashioned toe-clip pedals. But that is the only way I could get down the mountain, so I had to ride it for like 15-20 kilometers until I finally got to a team car with my bike.” – Jens Voigt
What an incredible attitude…..“I didn’t crash on my head, didn’t crash on my face, so things could be worse”. Are you kidding me? What a good reminder for looking at things positively.
I don’t know about you, but I am now officially a Jens Fan.
What do you think of this year’s TdF?