Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Alpe D'Huez

I'm watching the OLNTV repeat broadcast of the 16th stage of the Tour de France. The race today was a time-trial up the infamous Alpe D'Huez. He was the fastest person up the mountain, taking 39 minutes and 41 seconds to ride 9.6 miles. He was the only rider to race up the mountain in under forty minutes. He finished a minute faster than the second place rider, Jan Ullrich.

Two remarks: One, he caught up with the rider ahead of him, Ivan Basso. In time-trials, races start two minutes apart. I've seen him catch up with riders ahead of him in relatively flat time trials, but this was up a mountain! Two: In an overhead camera angle, looking down on the road at Lance chugging up the mountain, I saw on the road, in huge white painted letters, the exhortation: "Rip their balls off Lance." He did. Oh, yes, he did.

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