Wednesday, July 18, 2007

a tour encounter

Michael Rasmussen has held on the Yellow Jersey since last Sunday -- that's two days of racing since Monday was a rest day. The Tour is not only the most physically taxing sporting event, it's also one of the more dangerous ones. It's surprising that there are so few crashes given the bunching of riders in the peloton, the extremely high speeds at which they ride, the crowds, the weather, the risk of equipment failure and other factors. Still, if some well-known riders were banned from the Tour for use of performance enhancing drugs, some others were done in by the race itself. (Here's a description of a rider exhibiting both positive drug test and crash.) It's not a laughing matter, nor one for thrill-seekers. At least not normally. Here's something of an exception. Yesterday, on a mountainous stage . . .

. . . a big, galumphy dog wandered out in front of the riders. Here's a video of the encounter. Neither rider nor dog was injured, but look at what happened to the outrageously costly front wheel!

{Caption: Marcus Burghardt collides with a dog on TDF Stage 9 (Val-d'Isère to Briancon). The wheels have been reported to be Lightweight Obermeyers which cost £2800 - well over $5,500 USD. Source: Youtube.}

If you've time, here's a recap of the 8th stage showing Rasmussen's dominance.

Here's a photo of the wheel un-taco'ed.

1 comment:

GobberGo said...

My work has tons of cable channels and I've been putting on the Tour every day and watching when it's slow. It was VERY slow the day Rasmussen took the Yellow and the King of the Mountain, so I saw most of the stage. What a day! Out in front the whole time and he actually gained on the supposed "chase" groups! 2:30 between 1st and 2nd. Too cool. What an athlete!

My boss is into it too so we talk about the stages from time to time. I missed most of today's stage, but he said it was interesting, as you point out.