The Tour de France Enters Switzerland

Lance Armstrong competing in the 2004 Tour de France, from wikipedia
Lance Armstrong competing in the 2004 Tour de France, from wikipedia

Watching The Tour De France

I got a chance to watch the Tour de France today on the eighth leg of the race that went through Switzerland just west of Basel. Although Lance Armstrong no longer competes in the race, his success here has helped increase awareness of the annual event that runs for the entire month of July. Today was the eighth leg of the race which took place in Switzerland, ending in the town of Porrentruy . Tomorrow the cyclists will be magically transported across the border to France, where they begin leg 9. You see the Tour de France is not a completely continuous race, where the starting point is the same place that the racers ended the previous day’s ride.

Today's Swiss section of the Tour de France is held in a mountainous area, situated east of Lake Geneva, from wikipedia
Today’s Swiss section of the Tour de France is held in a mountainous area, situated east of Lake Geneva, from wikipedia

Brits In the Lead

Even though a Frenchman, Thibaut Pinot, won today’s leg, the Englishman Bradley Wiggins still holds first place for the first eight days of riding. There is still a lot of ground to cover until the end, but if Wiggins can hang on he will be the first Brit to ever win the event. This years race has seen any doping accusations (at least so far), but instead has been plagued with a rash of accidents. Today, Samuel Sanchez a possible Olympic competitor was knocked out of the Tour de France (and maybe the London Olympics), when he suffered a broken collarbone in a four bike pile-up. Even more spectacular was the 15 bike pile-up that occurred several days ago, sending several bikers to the hospital.

2006 doping protest sign, from wikipedia

Pro Cyclists In Quebec

The pro cycling circuit that is so popular in Europe has only recently extended itself to North America. …And this is limited to two September races, one in Quebec City and one in Montreal. I was fortunate to witness the first race, that was held in Ville de Quebec in 2010, and I must say it was an amazing event to watch. The pack of riders covered a 150 kilometer route through hilly Quebec in just over four hours, a distance that would take me a couple of days. True, they had state-of-the-art bikes that cost 10,000 dollars or more, but still the speed by which they cruised uphill and down was amazing. Hopefully, the pro racing circuit will extend itself to other North American places, perhaps even one located in the U.S.

Hilly Quebec has a terrain that challenges bicycle racers
Hilly Quebec has a terrain that challenges bicycle racers, from wikipedia
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