In the New York Times article “Riders Limp Into Perilous Stage of Tour,” Juliet Macur details the various bumps, bruises, sprains, broken bones, and shattered dreams of the world’s greatest riders. Most of the Tour’s favorites took a tumble during the first and second stages of the Tour, including Lance Armstrong, Christian Vande Velde, and Tyler Farrar. Christian Vande Velde ended his hopes of winning the tour by adding two more to his three already broken ribs, and Tyler Farrar has also dropped out.
Stage three of the Tour promised to be the toughest yet. It contained 8.2 km of cobblestone that was sure to dismount many of the top riders, especially the stick-thin Contador whose minimal upper body strength would make it more difficult for him to control his bike on the uneven pavement. Perhaps he should ride a Montague Paratrooper instead? With the SR Suntour front suspension and the thick, knobby tires, he’d probably be more likely to stay upright (quite this accomplishment in the Tour this year.)
The Paratrooper may be the riders’ only hope when attempting to conquer such treacherous terrain. And the Paratrooper is sure to be more durable than the rider’s bodies. Maybe they should learn a thing or two about the aircraft grade aluminum frame of the Paratrooper before next year’s tour? We certainly think so!
I could just hear “Here Comes The Sun” playing in my head while I watched the fourth stage of the Tour when the riders finally stayed upright. OK, so it was relatively short, gorgeous weather, and completely straight and flat through Champagne country, but whatever. The riders deserved it after being beaten and battered for the previous three days. I think if I was riding the Tour in these conditions, about 1 km into the cobblestones on the third day, I would have folded my Montague bike and stashed it in the trunk of a car to watch the rest of the race from the air conditioning and maybe take the train down to the South of France for some leisurely riding along the water.
Drama, Drama, Drama. After all the crashes, the broken dreams, the unlikely stage winners, and more doping allegations against Lance, I’m just glad I’m riding my FIT next weekend in the Tri State Trek. Keep it short, simply, and fun.
Ride safe and Have FUN!