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2015 Paris–Nice

2015 Paris–Nice: Stage 02

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    High Points
  • Checking into a castle, and the subsequent tour of said castle.
    Low Points
  • The worst song ever. Which we heard over and over. [See below.]

SHOWER ADVENTURES, EPISODE THREE: THE FIRE HOSE SHOWER HEAD

The trick to using this type of shower is to submit to these seven basic rules (presented in order for your convenience—based on a right hand dominant scenario) because you are going to sooner or later, trust us.

  1. Before turning the shower on remove the shower head unit from the wall mount and place the shower head unit on the floor of the shower with the nozzle pointed away from you, toward the wall.
  2. Place one foot or a heavy waterproof object on the shower head unit, then turn the shower on slowly and gradually, in increments.
  3. DO NOT bring the shower up to “full speed” before entering the shower zone and pulling the shower curtain closed behind you completely.
  4. Pick-up the shower head unit with your left hand, use a firm grip.
  5. While still holding the shower head unit with your left hand (firm grip!), bring the shower up to full speed using your right hand.
  6. Then place the shower head unit firmly into the wall mount.
  7. Begin showering!

#STORMCHASING #INFRONTOFTHEPELOTON

Below is an example of a typical conversation in Manual for Speed’s Team Car during any of the MANY vast blocks of time with basically nothing to do and nowhere to go, #stormchasing #infrontofthepeloton. Please note: Before this real world non-fictional exchange took place there had been about 10 minutes of absolute silence while Daniel played chess on his iPhone, Ian drove, Raoul stared out the window at the fields going past, and Keiran slept slumped against the window with her scarf wrapped around her head like a homeless mummy. Then suddenly, Daniel began speaking apropos of nothing. Also, it should be noted that as quickly and spontaneously as this conversation erupted, it abated entirely. Leaving us with uninterrupted FM FUN accompanied by the sound of fields going past once again.

  • Daniel: “I don’t know if we take them here. Do we take them here?”
  • Ian: “Is there coffee in this town?
  • Keiran: “What are you looking for or will you just know it when you see it?”
  • Raoul: “It’s like in falling love.”

KLAUS’ KLIFF KNOTES: PROLOGUE THRU STAGE 02

As is often the case, Paris-Nice started this year with a Prologue. The 6.7 kilometer route (that’s 4.1 miles for those of the Imperial persuasion) left little room for error, and favored more explosive riders. In the end it was Kwiatkowski who took the win, ahead of an impressive list of competitors that included Tony Martin—who only recently stopped his training as a police officer in Germany.

Stage 1, from Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse to Contres was one for the sprinters, both in terms of the finish, as well as the intermediate sprint, which allowed Dagenkolb and Matthews to pick up points and bonus seconds along the way. Despite the expected breaks featuring French riders, the peloton caught the last riders with 1.5 kilometers to go. Katusha gave Alexander Kristoff a well-timed lead-out, allowing him to win—a frustrating result for French sprinters Nacer Buhanni and Bryan Coquard who came in second and third respectively.

Stage 2 was bound to be yet another day for the sprinters, despite attempts by Cannondale-Garmin to break things up by pulling hard during apparent crosswinds, unfortunately their efforts didn’t seem to affect anyone. The arrival of a collected peloton into Saint-Amand-Montrond (a town with a list of famous residents that is five people long, and includes a college professor) set things up for a bunch sprint, which André Greipel (nickname: Gorilla) won. This meant that there were no significant changes to the overall classification, and that the real race for the GC will begin on Stage Four into Croix de Chaubouret.

OBSERVATIONS FROM OUR FIRST TIME SLEEPING IN A SCOOBY-DOO CASTLE

  1. Tedious at first. Castles live in the woods (#duh) and castles don’t believe in asphalt so the road through the woods was unpaved, big time.
  2. Difficult to check-in to. Castles are surrounded by castle walls and you can’t park inside the castle walls because they need all that room for jousting contests and public executions. Parking is basically on the far side of the moat, a moat that has been filled-in with gravel, and gravel is not roller-tech compatible, which means you have to carry your roller bag. Also the staircases are circular and cold and damp. And yeah, no elevators. So first impressions at this point, not the best.
  3. Glorious the moment we entered our room.

“The bed! The chairs and tables and wallpaper and tapestries and battle shields! The view of the forest!”

– DANIEL PASLEY

  1. EXACTLY like Scooby-Doo said it would be: knights in armor in all the corners, a dungeon, most of the paintings stare at you when you walk past, weird noises, probably a ghost, a caretaker!!!!!, hidden doorways and passages (alas, no passages specifically designed for concubines), a chapel with stained glass windows, 17 fireplaces all of which are big enough to burn any of the smaller Peugeots, a curio room, etc.

ZOOPARC DE BEAUVAL, SAINT-AIGNAN

ALONG THE COURSE

SAINT-PIERRE-DE-JARDS

A NONDESCRIPT UPHILL ROAD THROUGH A NONDESCRIPT FIELD IN THE NONDESCRIPT FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE

CÔTE DE LA TOUR

SAINT-AMAND-MONTROND

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