July 14, 2017, Happy Bastille Day. To those of you not interested in the history of France evert your eyes for a couple of paragraphs. This national holiday originated with the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. This action was a major turning point of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a fortress-prison often holding political dissidents and authors whose writings angered the Nobel class. As such, the Bastille was a symbol of absolutism of the Monarchy. As it turns out, the Bastille was also a storage facility of guns, ammunition and gun powder. So quicker than you could say, BAM – ZOOM, the peasant/working class had made their mark and statement to the ruling class and the trajectory of the French Revolution was forever changed.
But enough of my simple version of history, Bastille Day for me marks the midpoint of the Tour de France bicycle race. And the big question is; Will this be the year a French rider wins the Bastille Day Stage (14 this year)? For those of you who have been following this years version of the TdF, it has definitely been interesting and remarkably close this deep into the event (8 stages left). From the rain slicked opening stage (Prologue) with a myriad of crashes and crash outs through multiple stages of intense heat and more slick roads and even more bad crash outs this years Tour has had a fabulous storyline. In contrast to most of the tours this century, the race is very close with 4 riders within 35 seconds of the leader (yellow jersey wearer-maille jeune) and the top 10 all within 5 minutes of the podium.
Today’s race continued this story of close racing, multiple attacks, riders taking chances on downhills and tightening of the general classification results. In fact just today, the top 10 riders overall ended up in the top 10 of the day’s stage, and for the first time since 2005, a Frenchman (Warren Barguil) won the Bastille Day Stage. Not only was Barguil brought to tears but so was most of France (or maybe the tears were from Trump’s visit – I don’t know 🙂
The results of Stage 14:
- Warren Barguil (France)
- Nairo Quintana (Colombia)
- Alberto Contador (Spain)
GC results (total of 14 stages): (Over 1500 miles)
- Fabio Aru (Italy) Yellow Jersey
- Chris Froome (RSA) 6 seconds back
- Romain Bardet (France) 25 seconds back
- Rigoberto Uran (Colombia 35 seconds back
Yellow (1st Place) – Fabio Aru
Polka Dot (climber) – Warren Barguil
White (top under 25yo) – Sean Yates
Green (sprinter) – Marcel Kittel
Top Team – Sky
So maybe you are wondering why the TdF update. Well I thought:
1- A fair amount of runners also follow the TdF.
2- It is Bastille Day.
3- A book review will be coming soon including a mention of the book, “The Secret Race”, by Tyler Hamilton.
For those of you who remember of the Pre-2013 TdF you might remember a guy named, Lance Armstrong, who dominated the tour for about 10 years, tried to cure cancer and then came clean(?) on how he cheated the whole time on Oprah. Well not exactly entirely clean, but it was a start. Frankly I never met anyone who didn’t back Lance for most of this tenure and many didn’t believe it even after the Oprah interview. But now years later (anybody know where Lance is, anybody care?) does having more answers to how far he went to cheat and keep from getting caught interest you? Well if it does, consider this book by Tyler Hamilton a must read. It is informative, I believe accurate (if you followed this closely I think you will agree) and well written. It has the pace of a mystery adventure novel and I highly recommend it. I will leave the reader to write their own review.
Also coming soon will be the review of 2 running books:
1- “The Longest Fall”, by, Lee Krinsky
2- “On Sundays We Go Long”, by, Ty Strange (fellow ER member and XC National teammate(2011)
I will begin the review this weekend, but a here’s a teaser line:
“I enjoyed it and everything from the book cover to the storyline itself will be familiar to many Empire Runners who have run the PAUSATF XC Circuit and our many trails in Annadel and Santa Rosa Creek. You might even recognize some of the characters.”
This is Ty’s second novel and one runners have been looking for: A novel written by a runner for a runner.