TDF Stage Two: Yes, this is a spoiler.

Don’t read this if you haven’t seen the stage coverage yet and plan on watching.

There, you’ve been warned. All the good stuff is after the break…

GOD OF THUNDER HEAR ME ROAR!!!

Along with Big Maggie Backstedt, Thor Hushovd is one of my all time favorite sprinters. Why? Because he is huge. (And it doesn’t hurt that he is also Norwegian – my grandma would be proud :) )

In a sport dominated by little pipsqueakian tiny people, it makes my heart sing to see The God of Thunder bearing down on the finish line, looking like the goddam incredible hulk.

Seriously – is Thor’s body even really possible? My friend just called me to tell me that she’d thought her television was distorted until she looked over at the rider next to him, who appeared “normal-sized”.

And to top it off, after watching him for several years, it appears that his good nature is just as massive as his body – that man is always smiling. As happy as all TDF stage winners inevitably are, Thor’s elation was almost childlike as he shook the hands of the officials. He wears it on his sleeve and I appreciate that.

What a stage!

In addition to Norwegian Monster Sprint Dominance, we also got to see the Little Frenchman That Could (Voeckler) in yet another gutsy break, doggedly gathering KOM point into his little polka-dot basket. Go, Thomas, go!

And is there anything more exciting than when the peloton decides to wait until 1.2k to go to finally catch the break? I swear, they must be in tight with the media because that was a nail biter. There was a moment when I actually thought Chavanel would stay off the front. How incredible would that have been? Will I ever learn? Probably not.

Also not to go unnoticed: a 2-3 finish from the Columbia boys. Kirchen is looking super fit and dangerous, and Ciolek is only 21 years old, for crying out loud! I am happy to see this U.S. team throwing down right from the gun – Columbia made a smart decision on this one.

Big props due to Zabel in fifth, who is a veritable old man in the peloton at the ripe old age of 38 (I would love to see him take a stage this year) and Valverde who cautiously joined the sprint to be sure to contest the yellow jersey. Classy and smart – well done.

Finally, what is with the Frenchies eating their young? I could not for a moment figure out why the Francaise Des Jeux boys would take the pressure off of Valverde’s crew to chase down their own countrymen, but they must have really thought that Phillipe Gilbert had a chance in the sprint. Whatever the case, it’s always interesting to see how team and country loyalties play out over the course of the tour.

P.S. Sal was secretly cheering for Pozzatto today and we think he has a day coming to him in the Tour this year.

Possibly related (automatically generated) posts:

  1. Mount Hood Cycling Classic: Stage One in Pictures Just a quick photo dump of some image highlights from...
  2. Allez! Tour Spoiler Ahead. Last week in my column for the Oregonian, I went...
  3. Cascade Cycling Classic Stage 2 Photo Preview Holy smokes. It’s hot in Bend. I’m at the Cascade...
  4. Quick Photo Update from Cacscade: Stage Two Kenji and I were humming along yesterday, headed to Bend,...
  5. Mt Hood Cycling Classic: Stage 2 Race Report… My way. You want the straight up, suit-n-tie race reporting? Check out...

One comment

  1. I agree: Big men of Norwegian descent wearing green kits are the best cyclists to root for, hands down.

%d bloggers like this: