Sunday, July 4, 2010

TDF 2010 Stage 1: Rotterdam to Brussels

Two countries in as many days, and the race is just getting started. One of the great spectacles of Le Tour is seeing it run through neighboring countries, seeing the huge crowds that come out to embrace the race as if it were their own. The riders who happen to hail from those guest countries often take particular pride in giving it a go on the day, whether it's riding ahead of the field to stop and greet friends and family, or whether it's taking a flier from the starting gun and taking a chance on the start-to-finish breakaway.

Dutchman Lars Boom did just that today, displayed his nerve, attacking from the drop of the starter's flag and staying out front, with just a couple of breakaway companions, for nearly the entirety of today's 223km Stage 1. Displays of nerve defined today's stage in other ways as well, with crashes -- an omnipresent risk in bike racing but especially prevalent in the early days of a big race -- peppering what theoretically should have been one of the more straightforward stages of this year's Tour. Three crashes in the last 2k of the race, one of them among the largest mass pileups I've ever seen, made for an unpredictable (and rather scary) finale.

As much as I'd prefer to have seen a clean finish, I'd love to have been there to witness the mayhem in person. Had I been, as I've said here before, there's little doubt where I would have headed after the finish....


Greg G. said...

David, I agree that if I was in Brussels for the finish the other day I would have been heading to Cantillon as well! A true Belgian treasure

David McDuff said...

Can't wait to make it there some day, Greg. Just love their beers.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin