Tour 2010: Stage 10

14 July 2010 § 4 Comments

It’s every French rider’s dream to win a Tour stage on Bastille Day. The last man to achieve it was David Moncoutié – still riding for the Cofidis team but omitted from their Tour squad – back in 2005. No luck again this year: the French had to watch Portugal’s Sergio Paulinho (RadioShack) take the win on their national holiday in a two-up sprint against Vasili Kiryienka (Caisse d’Epargne) of Belarus.
Schleck, Contador et al were content to trundle along on a hot day, allowing the escapees to build up a lead of more than 14 minutes by the finish in Gap, in the knowledge it wouldn’t have the slightest impact on the overall standings. It was good to see a breakaway succeed for once, giving some of the peloton’s lesser luminaries their moment in the limelight. And what a finish it was.

CLOSE CALL

A big day
For the little guys;
The men who go years,
Or whole careers,
Without a kiss
From a podium girl.

A chance to see
What the race looks like
From the front;
Take great, greedy draughts
Of clear air
And open road.

And then, rewarding long labour
The luxury
Of a whole kilometre
To stalk, feint, shadow-box,
Hugging the barrier
Forcing the lead-out.

After five hours
It all comes down
To a heartbeat’s hesitation
And half a wheel.
So far
And yet so near.

Chambery-Gap, 179km
Won by Sergio Paulinho (RadioShack)
Maillot jaune: Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)

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§ 4 Responses to Tour 2010: Stage 10

  • Tim says:

    Bravo! A fitting tribute, as always.

    In many ways a dull stage, but it’s always nice to see one of the humble domestiques, who do so much unnoticed work in the service of their leaders, enjoy a day in the sun.

    • gonecycling says:

      Many thanks for the +ve comment, Tim – always much appreciated. Looking ahead, I think I’m going to be writing about breakways and/or Cavendish for the next few days…roll on the Pyrenees and the grimpeurs!

      • Tim says:

        No worries. Frankly, I am seriously impressed at your ability to churn out verse which is both factually accurate and funny every day. I can’t manage any more than “There once was a young man named Cav / Who talked like a bit of a chav.” (As you can probably tell, I’m more comfortable with prose than poetry …)

  • gonecycling says:

    Now THAT’s factually accurate and funny! Producing prose for other people is my day-job, so writing poetry is a chance to let my brain off the leash and indulge myself a little. Delighted you’re enjoying the results!

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