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Stage 12 Preview: Bastille Day Nonsense

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Stage 12 is the one stage determined not by the terrain, not by the riders, but by the calendar. In one of the Tour de France's unwritten rules -- or maybe it's actually written -- every July 14, a.k.a. Bastille Day, the peloton selects one hopeless Frenchman and lets him make a heroic escape for the stage win. Or in a good year, they let a couple go to fight it out.

So, while the peloton recovers from today's beautiful stage, the lucky native(s) will go rolling out over up and down terrain before descending out of the Pyrenees for the year. On a scale of ten, this stage's importance is somewhere down below two. Barring crashes, nothing is going to happen. Well, the polka dot jersey could change hands. And there might be a cool points sprint. But other than that... NUTHIN!

So, while envisioning the peloton storming ASO headquarters, sing along to the English version of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise:

Arise you children of the motherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny
Has raised its bloodied banner,
Do you hear, in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers?
They are coming into your midst
To slit the throats of your sons and consorts!
To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions!
Let us march, let us march!
May impure blood
Soak our fields' furrows!

Um.... ew! Oh, and allez Portal!