Today is the first stage up the mountains in the Tour de France. In other words, this is the first real day of the race. Sure we’ve had the time trials, prologue and a few sprints, but to contest for the yellow jersey, climbing mountains is the strategy de jour for winning.
Remember back when you were a kid on your bike and think of the biggest hill in your neighborhood. It was the most grueling few seconds you had on two wheels. Now, do that for 6 hours at 100 times the difficulty and you get what 170 of the best bike riders in the world will face. Then do it everyday for a week strait, it is a new definition of pain. This is when you have to reach inside yourself and ask how bad do you want something….like a yellow jersey.
No Lance this year. We’ll see who the new victor over self and mountain will be. Today they clime the Col de Soudet at 1540 meters in height. A minor 1000 meter climb up the Col de Marie Blanque after that should kill off any pretenders.
But it is stage 15 up the legendary L’alpe-D’Huez that will define the men vs. the boys, don’t miss it.