TdF Rest Day Report, Races within the Race, Wine report (Madrid)
I hope you’ve been watching Le Tour, I have, from our base in Italy, before we head over for the final ten days. It looks like being the best TdF since 2011.
There is so much going on with a Dutchman taking the first yellow jersey to a Frenchman wearing it on Bastille Day. And I’ve never seen so much competitive racing, if they keep these average speeds up, they’ll surely be close to dead by the third week. In Monday’s stage we saw three of the favorites, Porte, Uran & Pinot, lose over 1.5 minutes, in what I hesitate to call a rookie error. But the guts of it was, they were caught behind a small break, due to a wind split, while the yellow jersey, and other GC favorites, went helter-skelter to the finish line, aided by the sprinters teams (and Ineos, of course).
Races within the Race
Nibali, the Sicilian Shark, appeared to take a bite out of himself the other day, according to my neighbour, Maria-Angela the smoking Nonna, who knows more about cycling than many of the lycra- clads I’ve met. She loves Nibali when he wins, but Collingwood supporters have got nothing on her, when she turns on her own. She says he’s given up already, and dropped down the GC just so he can go for a stage win, without getting chased down (a former TdF winner, he now sits 14 minutes behind). He’s got no ticker, she explained, in between puffs. Stages in Le Tour don’t account for much in Italy, it seems, it’s the overall or nothing.
Expect my most (un)favorite cyclist (Valverde) to be doing the same. He was leading all the top riders up La Planche des Filles the other day – much the same as the whole of Team Sky used to do – at ease, taking a breath every second lamp post, before dropping off. No doubt he’ll follow the style of Nibali, and go for a spectacular stage win down the track, maybe after a rest day, in the Pyrenees?
Steven Kruijswijk, who I picked out in my last TDF report as someone I’d like to see win, has had a good start, and sits in 4th place on GC. He’s kept out of the wind, hardly shown his face, never interviewed on the tele…. that’s a perfect first week. Now he’s just got two more weeks to go, and to move up three places. Easy. (Not to forget his team has won four stages with four different winners, including the team time trial).
Caleb Ewan has come close, and Michael Matthews has been in the top ten more than AC/DC, but no win. Personally I think their performance has been fantastic, but for the sprinters, it’s the win, and the win only. I feel sorry for them really, they’re only happy when they win, whereas the rest of us are pretty happy just riding our bikes.
Top: I rode Gavia last week, with MBW (My Beautiful Wife)…’twas fantastic.
Below Right:The ‘wine by the glass’ list, in Majadahonda, Madrid, last week.
Wine Report – Madrid
We spent a few days in Madrid recently, well, not really Madrid, but an outer suburb, Majadahonda. It’s near where a Madrillian friend of ours lives, and once you’ve seen everything in Madrid this is the place to go for all the culture, without those damn tourists being everywhere.
There’s a photo included of the wine prices, per glass, for a bar where we had breakfast. The house Rioja (pronounced something like re-ocker) is 1.8 euro if you drink it in the bar, 20c more if you drink it out on the terrace. Even when you pay top dollar on the terrace, you can get three glasses, for the price of one in Melbourne…
More than Ebikes…
We are continuing to update our complete hire fleet, with new bikes from Casati and Wilier. See our Insta feed for photos or find out more about riding one of our electric bikes on tour here. Better still, come and ride one.