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Stage 12 Manual For Speedisms

 

A short catalog collected throughout the day.

 

“What the funicular?”

—When @caleyfretz and @hannahtroop took the lift down to the Dutch Corner and beat us there by an hour because Steve and I had to side-hill 3k of thistles between the barriers and and some kinda problem: a cliff, a wall, sleeping TDF #chilleurs, stacks of bicycles etc., and side-hilling in Vapor Maxes is basically like walking on your ankles. I mean, there’s a reason hiking boots don’t come with inflatable soles.

“Method Journalism.”

—Basically the same as Performance Journalism™. Just further illustrating the idea that we don’t just talk about hill people and ditch monkeys, we become hill people and ditch monkeys. We live among them. We go where they go, we eat what they eat, we sing their songs, we clap, stomp, and shout with them. And yes, it’s the same as becoming an undercover cop. You can get in too deep. How do you prove your loyalty? Are you pretending to like the Dutch version of the electric slide, or do you actually like it now?

“Intimate hitchhiking.”

—Riding in clown cars with boys.

“Reciprocal grooming.”

—Private conversation between Ashley Gruber, Steve and myself.

“Parallel participation.”

—I can’t remember now.

“Show me your ‘Go Face’.”

—The faces Dutch fans make when moshing on the side of road about to be used for a bike race.

Stage 12 High Points & Low Points

by The Eagle
    High Points
  • Whoa. Geraint Thomas was fajking flying through the last corner (on the top of a 13km climb with 21 switchbacks, NBD) like he was in a criterium or something. Sheesh. Power move. That sprint must have sent shivers through the rest of those spindly climber’s malnourished limbs. Aggressive. Do not mess with that dude if he ever shows up to Tulsa Tough Day 3…
  • Steven Kruijswijk alone, off the front, with 73k to go and the one Alpe we’ve all heard about left to summit at the end. Brave, bold move. Caught with 3k to go, but man, that was a hats-off-helluva ride. I was hoping for the stage win, but his gamble made the middle of the race interesting and at least the race jury pulled their heads outta their asses and correctly awarded him the combativity prize.
  • All the guys who were in the breakaway exploding on the very first pitch of Alpe d’Huez. Total big name carnage…. with 13k to go. We’re talking real, genuine uphillers: Rafal Majka and Warren Barguil (two former polka dot jersey winners) crawling at about a snail’s pace… oooff. Tells ya what the last few days have been doing to these boys—and puts into perspective Kruijswijk’s ride.
  • 21-year-old Egan Bernal announcing himself as THE Colombian to be feared in the years to come. The kiddo rode like a total boss up Alpe d’Huez destroying Dutch hopes and dreams while annihilating any chance that his compatriot Nairo Quintana will be a factor in the overall this year and probably in the years to come. I guess he recovered from his brush with a BMC team car’s rear bumper a few days ago.
  • The counters. So fun to watch, and SO many of em served up in the last 2-3k. It’s been a few years in the making but guys are figuring out what you gotta do to Sky, it’s just too bad it’s not yielding results since Thomas and Froome are both scary strong at the moment. All we can hope is the esprit de corps amongst the Orcas devolves into reality TV-style drama behind the scenes and the wheels come off in week three.
  • The TV helicopter with the giant yin-yang symbol on it? WTF? Please tell me Daniel and Steve were aerial photogging today?!!
    Low Points
  • Warren Barguil literally riding himself into a gutter at about 1 mph while going up the Col de la Croix de Fer in the breakaway. He kept it upright and jumped right up onto the road, but c’mon man, you’re better than that!!
  • We lost 3G coverage today. Gaviria, Greipel and Groenewegen all out. Don’t really blame ‘em, that shit looked hard. The Champs could be sleepy this year, though. Sagan v Demare? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Will wheelies be involved?
  • Steve Porino sucks.
  • If I hear the word “rhythm” outta another NBC announcer’s mouth I’m gonna switch to the Dutch feed. It’s becoming the descriptor of this Tour. It’s the “epic” of this year’s commentary booth and it’s starting to bug… bigtime.
  • The Dutch fans and actually the majority of the fans up there booing everyone chasing Kruijswijk and in particular Chris Froome. So ridiculous. I mean, funny, like I LOLed and stuff, but kinda a lowpoint in... you, know sporting fandom terms.
  • Rigo Uran and Vinnie Nibali out. Fajkk, I kinda like both of em. When GC hopes die it usually means freedom to animate the stages and that’s good for the Nielsen ratings and my attention span. They will be missed in the Pyrenees.

Selected Stage 12 Broadcast Quotes

 

by The Eagle

“It’s an incredibly ah… well-endowed, uh, valley, this. With plenty of minerals including Alu-MIN-ium as they say in English, or aluminum as they say in the United States.”

—Paul Sherwin discussing valley qualities (and dialects) as the break splits apart on the Col de la Croix de Fer and Kruijswijk set off on his 70km mission.

“Well they certainly start to crack. If the legs don’t crack the PSY-chology does, because that’s when you see the first kilometer of Alpe d’Huez rear its ugly head up in front of you.”

—Paul Sherwin, moments before dudes started blowing out the back as the road went up. I gotta commend that timing, Paul.

“Unbelievable. Can we just go to Paris now?”

—Geraint Thomas at the finish, immediately continuing with, “I’m still riding for Froomey.” Really???? Wow. Dunno, man. You, uh… Looked pretty good out there.

 

Bourg-Saint-Maurice

 

Alpe d’Huez I

 

Pre-Race

 

Alpe d’Huez II

 

Dutch Corner & GC

 

Alpe d’Huez III

 

Not GC aka Almost Everybody
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