Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Forrest Gump, Barry Sanders, & Cookies - Stage 3 Tour de France Recap

The #TDF Twitterverse lit up today as the debate about Stage 3's winner, the 22 year old Peter Sagan, that #ForrestGump was still trending as midnight came for the Tour riders who were undoubtedly were trying to rest from a hard day in the saddle. No, the tweeters weren't talking about the questionable quality of a 'beloved' american film, but the 'victory dance" of the man of the hour in this year's tour. Sagan said that his 'running man-like' salute came about from the suggestion of his teammate to imitate the fictional character "because they told him to run and that's what he did. And he said the team tells me to win and I win."

Traditional cycling fans are having a hard time understanding Sagan's youthful exuberance as he crosses line in victory in this years tour. They are probably the same fans who are having a hard time understanding the non-continental, former mountain biker, and Cyclocross champion's seemingly effortless wins. Stuart O'Grady intimated that the celebration was a type of taunt and disrespectful to the rest of the peloton. Well, get over yourselves. Salutes aren't anything new, see Flecha's Archer, Cav's crotch, and Satre's binky. And even though I'm not a big fan (Barry Sanders never spiked the ball you know), the celebration adds some color to an otherwise predictable tour so far, unlike the roller derby helmets the ASO is making the overall Team Classification wear every day. Now those are both nontraditional and taunts at good taste.

photo: Bettini

I remember my celebration dances when I was 22. They weren't appropriate either, but then again they weren't televised around the world. Settle down. Everyone will be fine. At least you're not this guy.

Actually Stage 3 was the first 'real' race of this year's Tour. Lots of mayhem, missed corners (I'm looking at you Valverde), and some go for broke moves that kept me on the edge of my seat (Chavanel). It was a 'real' stage with real racing. Hopefully an indicator that this race is what we thought it would be back in Liege', wide open.

Dan Martin thought it was real.

Jens Voight thought it was real.
Tomorrow's Stage 4 end in Rouen, the home of Jacques Anquetil. A little bump towards the end will not be enough to break up the sprinter's teams as they try to deliver their main men to the line. If anyone gets around Cavendish, if might be Matt Goss, Greipel, or 'The Cat' Oscar Freire. The Spainard has been making appearances at the front in the finishes the last few days and he might just be lurking for the right moment.


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