No way i can match the masters of fanposts here, but I did go up and take some photos of today's time trial up the col d'Eze. I positioned myself just past a long steep part, a little over halfway through the course - a place where suffering facial expressions should be at their max. I had a fancy new camera that unfortunately i knew very little about and just hoped for the best. Mostly spent a lazy pleasant afternoon in the perfect temperatures and sunshine, snapping some photos as each rider passed. Blissfully ignorant of results or status.
By the way, the following text below the jump says absolutely nothing about anything really, so unless you are really bored at work, you can just skip down to the photos. And ha! 75 words? You gotta be kidding me. Try a 750 word limit if you wanna give me a challenge on these things. Jus sayin. 75 words? Please.
So for some reason I happened to sit next to an old belge guy (maybe because there was plenty of room, everyone else was scared?), with his table and notebook for writing down split times and his car parked across the street with flandrian flag erected. Asked him if he was belge to which he nodded and said "Flandrian!" Ok. Turns out he had stories of watching Merckx and de Vlaeminck and others and the good old days of watching races in Belgium and France and nowadays there are too many people and it's too crazy and enough is enough. (so for all you people who want to grow cycling and think that more is always better (yes you, jens!), there's an old belge guy who strongly disagrees). Oddly he didn't seem to know how to pronounce belgium names properly, so i often had a hard time figuring who he was talking about. Oh well.
He also said that once back in the old days he managed to see the Ronde pass 11 times during the race by moving around very quickly each time the riders passed. Can't do that anymore, it just aint the same. So now he watches 'em pass once and then watches on the tv. So this guy had a tv and a radio and something else, who knows what - "three systems!" - and none of them would work cuz no airplane for the signals. Problem of mountains on one side and sea on the other - how we suffer. Anyway so you gotta have an aeroplane but he only had one for the first rider. I'm not sure how much that helps really. So we had no news on anything. Fine with me. Who needs news when you have sun and lovely temperatures and are lying on the side of the road?
Just as well really - hung out and chatted and chilled and waited for each guy to come by - a few allez-allezes and a couple of blurry photos and back to relaxing for the next one. Eventually started falling off into a wonderful lazy sleepiness, lying in the gutter on the side of the road, chatting and dozing off - quite a nice day really, i have to say.
Then at one point a guy across the road starts motioning to me. He's turning his hand around in a circle. Am i filming? No, i'm not filming. Is he saying i'm crazy? Well ok, but so what? No, he's saying we rode together this morning - he was the guy in the white. Total blank on my part. Which guy in the white? Like i notice guys in white.
A little later it occurred to me that i was stupidly on the wrong side of the sun for photos and decided to join him on the other side and ask him who the hell he was. Amazing how people look different when not dressed in funny lycra suits. He had to give me several clues and finally it hit me, damn! I've "known" the guy for a couple years - not really known him, but always knew who he was as he's kind of a bad-ass around here and rides with our club occasionally. Funny too how people act differently when not dressed in the funny lycra. I had always had the impression he was a bit hard and snotty and competitive and not very friendly at all - jeez, take off the lycra and you could find someone amazingly friendly and cheery and not stuck up at all and so on - gave some good help with the fancy new camera too.
And yeah i remembered him, he totally dropped my ass on the promenade des anglais on the way home.
So there you go, otherwise i just took pictures - some suck, some are blurry, etc etc etc. But here they are .... and more at the flickr link at the bottom.
So here's Richie Porte, seemingly enjoying himself (doesn't he know he should be suffering?)
and here's Irizar - this guy is suffering properly i'd say
have to include a shot of Sergey Lagutin for Holmovka and Pablo
and Brajkovic (guy on the left is not a professional cyclist)
next up is Mr Szmyd
and Ten Dam!
Albertina, just for you ... eros capechi. Suffering stylishly, oh yeah .....
and here's one for you, seahorse (it's kloden i think)
Frank is kind of blurry, maybe that's why he falls down a lot
the lady on the left in this photo i usually cropped out cuz she always looked so bored. Eh oui, but not for chou-chou!
pour les américains, bookwalter (by the way, current word count 750+. 75? Seriously?)
Petrov, another proper sufferer
I don't know who this is, but we need to get his name, because he's just not getting the message
Navarro going all out
And now for gav (trying to keep everyone happy), mr cunego (i'm not sure what she sees in him, must be the hat)
Uran - nice shades - reminds me of Michel Blanc in "les bronzés font du ski", heh heh (il va conclure, c'est sur)
Lulu and fan with cool glasses
and blurry Lulu
Arnold Jeannesson, with the proper attitude, no problem here ...
smiley maxime monfort, we'll cut him some slack on the smile, he seems to be hurting at the same time (you can get help for this, maxime)
Valverde, no funny hat, no aerobars. When will they ever learn? Still, nice facial expressions, still a fan here.
and finally, the man in the banana suit, mr Wiggo! Lookin good, isn't he? And uh, note the use of the funny hat and aerobars. Look at those lines on his legs. Give that man something to eat. This is as bad as the world of modeling.
more photos here (and i suppose bigger too, if you feel that's important)
and all these photos posted to the podium cafe group on flickr
And by the way, what the hell happened to de Gendt? Tgsgirl? I'm lookin at you. Hm, i had photos ... here ya go, found him ... (nice bike, too)
ok, everybody back to work now.
And me, vacation's over, back to work tomorrow morning.