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2015 Paris–Nice

2015 Paris–Nice: Stage 07

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First of all, bottom line, all things considered, if push comes to shove and I am forced to think about it and comment on it in a straightforward-no-nonsense-just-the-facts kind of way, and I think we can both agree that’s what’s happening here, you’re forcing us to do just that, you’re saying Hey Manual for Speed all jokes aside, now that it’s finished and the dust (mud) has settled and it’s the morning after and you’re basking in the light of a new day, what do you think, on balance, of Paris–Nice? Simple, Manual for Speed thinks Paris–Nice is a bike race. And no amount of High Points or Low Points is going to change that. That’s undeniable.


Paris–Nice, if you’re listening, if anyone asks us, that’s exactly what we’re going to tell them. That you’re a bike race. We got your back. I mean, if someone asks—and they won’t, but if they do, but really they won’t… baaaaaut if they doooooo…—whether Paris-Nice was a successful bike race, our answer, unfortunately, gets a bit more complicated. For example, if someones says, and dude this is JUST a hypothetical scenario so quit freaking out, nobody is going to bring it up, you can trust us because we know about stuff like this, we’re just covering our bases and taking a look at our exposure, that’s all we’re doing, this is just an exercise, and, but, so, okay, if someone does ask us, “Did Paris–Nice race to the sun?” our answer will be no.

Paris-Nice did not race to the sun in 2015.

Listen, P–N, baby, you know we love you, you know we got your back, but dude, there were television stations televising, we can assume, the race, plus nowadays you’ve got the Twitter and Facebook thing happening, it’s like nothing is private anymore, and besides YOU KNOW we took pictures right?, and pictures don’t lie. Pictures just do not lie.

But listen, some of this is on you P–N, you gotta take a look at your shit man, you can’t just put your head in the sand (mud) Or rocks, as it may be in Nice.. You can run all the numbers and do all the calculations and send all the material samples to your forensics lab, you can go down that road, and that might be the right thing to do. It really might be. You could try that. But sometimes the truth is just sitting there right in front of you. Staring at you. Like, chaaaaaecking you out. Asking you with its eyes to come over and pull up a chair and talk. Do it!!!! P–N baby this is your chance, go over there and take a look in the mirror; we’re pretty sure we know what you’re going to see. You’re going to see two MAJOR problems, one is totally within your power to control, the other one probably not.

The First One, the One You Totally Got:

I know you know it, but I think it makes sense to just go ahead and say it out loud at this point: the sun is in the sky. All the way. Like, it’s UP in the sky. Soooooooooo if you wanna Race to the Sun, you’re going to have to go into the sky. Let’s look at our options:

  1. Since we’re talking about a bike race, cars and planes and space stations just aren’t affordable or practical or allowable under UCI regulations.
  2. Same with elevators and stairs.
  3. And ladders.
  4. And really, all that leaves us with is mountains. You gotta use your mountains bro, it’s the only way up there. I know I know, dude, I get it, you’re tired of everyone using you for your mountains but you’re not the first and you won’t be the last. Get over it. And dude, your mountains are sweet. Plus, bottom line, they go to the sun and that’s what we’re trying to do here. P–N, we gotta keep our eyes on the prize.

The Second One, Maybe You Don’t Got This One:

I don’t know how you tackle this, but you can’t hold a bike race “to the sun” in the middle of a major meteorological event. Okay… why are you just staring at me?, you’re kinda freaking me out. Ah… let me spell it out for you: clouds, wind, rain and all that shit, that shit and the sun are mutually exclusive. If you have all those things, you don’t have the sun. But P–N, bro, manipulating the weather is a BIG challenge. Real big. Not sure you’ve got a move here. I suppose you could wait and do this race in the summer, maybe, like July or something?, but yeah, probs not going to happen. How does it go?…

“Lord give me the power to change some shit, the serenity to accept the shit I can’t change, the wisdom to know the difference, and some money to throw at the problem.”


But listen, we’re focusing on all the bad stuff. You are 100% a bike race, NOBODY can take that away from you. Really the only thing causing any problems here is your nickname or tagline or whatever. For example if your name was “Race Into the Wind” or “Race Thru the Field” or “Race to Vacant Buildings,” there wouldn’t be a problem. Like, at all. Problem solved. Listen, why don’t you sleep on it and we’ll pick this up tomorrow? I’ll call you or something. P–N baby, just chill, I’m sure everybody had a great time. And that castle, right?, the Scooby-Doo castle?, so good.



  1. Listening to Purple Rain by Prince in the Le Royal Hotel on the Promenade’s Petite Danger area, watching Raoul shave a sugar cube with a fork and knife— the fork to hold it down and the knife to scrape the surface—onto his crêpes.
  2. The cars in Europe turn themselves off. All the time. At will.
  3. Owning a car that has those sensors in them, the ones that tell you how close you are to a wall or curb or a dog or whatever, especially the ones that have sensors in not just the back but all the way around, in southern Europe, with all the alleys and tight streets, would be crazymaking.
  4. Monaco is populated by Beverly Hills High School girls and expensive sports cars.
  5. France is EXTRA closed on Sundays.
  6. That #chiller from yesterday, the one in the red jacket in Vence, the model airplane dude, he emailed us back about the photo. You’re welcome!
  7. If you come to Monaco to trade your house and 401(k) and inheritance in for one of the less expensive cars they sell here, and/or hang out with some Mean Girls at the Starbs, be sure to drive the Formula 1 course past Cafe Paris.
  8. Today we learned that European hoses are longer than ours
  9. This is the last time we will talk about coffee in regards to Paris–Nice, the Race to Periodic Drizzle, but listen, the average coffee serving size here is like 3oz—only they don’t have ounces here, but if they did it would be 3oz—and they don’t really do emportay aka to-go, so getting all the way caffeinated and sated is a lengthy and tedious process which may or may not involve the serial liberation of ceramic coffee cups from their residences.
  10. After eight days of French weefee, watching the movie Adventureland—a tremendously funny and touching coming-of-age story set in the 1980s. Jesse Eisenberg gives an excellent performance as James, a bright young guy who has tragically gone all the way through college remaining a virgin. To earn enough money for graduate school, he takes a dismal job at an amusement park called Adventureland, a name that turns out to be less ironic than we thought. Because it is there that he falls, intensely, for fellow misfit Emily, played by Kristen Stewart. The movie rolls happily along with great gags, astutely chosen emotional transitions, and, incidentally, a nice performance from Ryan Reynolds, who is capable of more than just grossout or romcom slush—in 8-13 minutes chunks with 13-20 minute bouts of buffering, the kind where the movie pauses and you’re forced to watch (or play chess on your iPhone) a percentage number in the middle of the screen saaaaaaloooooooooowly and graaaaaaaaadualllyyyyy go from like 12% to 30% to 61% back down to 50% then 88% and finally 100%, resulting in a 120 minute movie taking 340 minutes to watch, feels, well, just kinda normal.
  11. The movie “in stages” event is reminiscent or at least similar to the coffee “in stages” phenomenon. Maybe. Europe. Is. Just
  12. Into.
  13. I
  14. n
  15. c
  16. r
  17. e
  18. m
  19. e
  20. n
  21. t
  22. s
  23. .



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