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106 Times a Charm

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July 20th, 2009

tour2009 357x400 106 Times a Charm

Today marks the 106th anniversary of Le Tour de France.

For those who don’t know (I don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard of the Tour, but anyway), Le Tour de France is a great bike race that traverses most of France. Every year offers a new course for riders; it features some old cities, new cities, populated cities, and small towns.

tour peloton 585x384 106 Times a Charm

The race takes place for just over twenty days and every day offers a new stage of the race. There are different kinds of stages, from flat stages to mountainous ones. Each stage adds up to a total of 3500km for each rider!

This year’s race “Grand Start” was in Monaco. Le Grand Départ, as it’s called in French, was host to nearly 200 riders (about 9 riders for each of 20 teams).

377220550 2009 tour de france   monaco   monte carlo start 296x400 106 Times a Charm

Back to the fact that the Tour is celebrating its 106th; the first Tour was won by Maurice Garin in 1903. Over the years, many great riders have tried to win this prestigious race. Lance Armstrong is the most notable winner of all time, with 7 races under his belt.

During the race, the overall leader wears the famed Maillot Jaune or “Yellow Jersey”. This year’s top 3 favourites appear to be Rinaldo Nocentini from Italy, Alberto Contador from Spain, and the American Lance Armstrong is back after 4 years out of competition from the Tour.

Lance Armstrong jpg 251x400 106 Times a Charm

It is amazing how much these riders can handle. I am training for a marathon and I feel like a wuss compared to these guys. That’s not to mention how bad I feel when I complain about riding my bike after 15 minutes.

The Verdict:
It requires a lot of time, practice, and skill to perform like these riders, to the point where I would argue that it is an art. Only a select few can do what these people do and boy, they do it well!

I’m definitely going to think twice about whining after a run next time: the riders of Le Tour de France have the way shorter end of the stick than I do.


The Quibbler