The 102nd - Tour de France 
Started 7/4, ends on 7/26, 2015

I think we're itching to race again! by Christine Mazurk

On Sunday, a friend completed her first sprint triathlon. Congratulations, Jeanny, on a job well done!! My husband and I were there to cheer her to the finish, and as spectators, we both felt the need to once again pin on a number. It's been two years since our last event.

Now, mind you, we're not sitting on the couch eating bonbons, but there's a different intensity to work-outs when you're training for something specific. So, it's time to set a new goal. Being among the athletes reawakened that competitive spirit. It's the need to get out and train in all three disciplines, so we can give it our all on race day!

Taking two years off after racing for twenty years was not the rejuvenating rest period we expected it to be. We're ready to get back in the game!

Watching the TOUR DE FRANCE also spurs that want deep in the core.

The Tour de France started in 1903, and only missed the years during WWI (1915-1918) and WWII (1940-1946). The first winner was Maurice Garin from France.

Each year the best of the best cyclists compete for the famed YELLOW Jersey: The Champion! With others vying for other top spots, those Jerseys are: GREEN - Top Sprinter. POLKA DOT - King of the Mountains. WHITE - Best Young Rider (under age 26).

The Tour is a three week race and this year covers 3360 Kilometers (2087 miles). It consists of 21 Stages: 9 flat, 3 hill, 7 mountain with 5 altitude finishes, 1 individual time trial, and 1 team time trial. (They have 2 rest days within the 3 weeks.) And this year, they will visit 6 new stage cities: Utrecht, Zelande, Livarot, La Pierre-Saint-Martin, Muret, and Sevres.

Yesterday's Stage 10 was the first summit climb in the Pyrenees, and some of the favorites cracked as Chris Froome from Team Sky, who's currently wearing the Yellow Jersey, pushed the pace. CHRIS FROOME took the STAGE WIN with teammate Richie Porte coming in second, taking the time bonus away from Nario Quintana. Quintana finished third, 1:04 minutes down. Robert Gesink finished fourth, 1:33 minutes down. TeJay Van Garderen, our favorite American, lost some time in Stage 10, but was able to keep second overall.

Last year's winner, Vincenza Nebali, lost 4:25 minutes to Chris and confessed afterward that he's not in the shape he was last year.

After Stage 10, the Jersey Standings are:
Chris Froome in Yellow and he also took the Polka Dot Jersey with his stage win, but since he can't wear both, Richie Porte will sport the Polka Dot Jersey. Andre Greipel wears Green. Nario Quintana wears White.

Since the race started, several top contenders, favorites to win the race, have dropped out due to crashes. Fabian Cancellara crashed out in Stage 4. Tony Martin, who briefly wore the Yellow, went out in Stage 7, and Ivan Basso crashed out yesterday in Stage 10.

It's been an exciting (and crash laden) race so far, and we still have eleven days to go.

Over all standings after yesterday:
1. Chris Froome - Team Sky -in Yellow.
2. TeJay Van Garderen (USA) - Team BMC - 2:52 down.
3. Nario Quintana - Team Movistar - 3:09 down
4. Alejandro Valverde - Team Movistar - 4:01 down
5. Geraint Thomas - Team Sky - 4:03 down
6. Alberto Contador - Team Tinkoff-Saxo - 4:04 down.

If you've never watched the Tour, pop in tonight to catch the recap of the day (Stage 11). It gets the blood pumping and the heart racing while watching the incredible scenery as these racers ride at high speed - or struggle up the climbs... A must see, once a year, epic race!!!

Though I was rooting for TeJay, Chris Froome is proving to be a force to reckon with, I have to applaud his spirit, so GO CHRIS!!!

Until next week, enjoy!





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