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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Passion, Persistence, & Profanity Tour de France Stage 8

Marc Madiot cheering from the FDJ Team car.
For all the negative press cycling seems to get when the Tour de France rolls around, a lot of us were reminded why we love this sport during Stage 8 today. It's sometimes cruel, breathtaking, and inspiring all at the same time. Even with all the ugliness and deceit, we can't look away. The images of Marc Madiot, the FDJ Director Sportif and two-time winner of Paris-Roubaix, screaming out the team car window at his 22 year-old rider Thibault Pinot as he tried mightily through the last 10 km to stay away from an elite group of chasers that included Wiggins, Evans, Menchov and Nibali, was passion defined.

Pinot, a Frenchman on a French team, had tried to win yesterday's Stage 7, knew today was possible when he saw the course revealed in October, but couldn't make it happen. Today was not as close to his home, but he won nonetheless. He remarked that he could not have done it without the French crowd's roars of encouragement and teammate Jeremy Roy's tremendous efforts in the early breakaway of the day. Pinot, the youngest rider in the race, actually had to persuade his team to let him participate in this year's Tour. That effort proved to be convincing, but no more convincing than his first Tour win. Persistence pays off.

In the last couple of days we've learned a lot about Bradely Wiggins and his first choice of choice words. It's not a nice one. Yesterday, using the third letter of the alphabet to begin the word to express his characterization of the inadvertent camera man following Sagan, then today when asked about PEDs in the Twittersphere. Make sure, if you get a chance Bradley, to not kiss the trophy with that mouth.

Tomorrow, should whittle down the podium contenders to 4 or 5. The list got a little shorter today with the abandon of Olympic Champion and GC contende, Samuel Sanchez, due to a crash mid stage that broke his collarbone and separated his shoulder. My money is on Evans.

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