A fantastic ride today for world champion, Catharine Pendrel winning the women's MTB event at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She crossed the finish line in 1hr 39mins 29 secs, 1min 10secs in front of amazing silver medallist Emily Batty. Extra credit goes to Pendrel. I remember watching her at the 2012 London Olympics, and as the favorite faded to ninth. The Commonwealth Games are not on the same level as the Olympics but still a valid triumph and indication Pendrel is on the right track for her goals of 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Plenty to celebrate today as it's my birthday! As I enjoy my morning coffee and decide how to spend my day, I'm also in Tour de France withdraw. This morning, I found myself looking for an online feed, by reflex by the way, and found nothing - so I'll have to wait until next year. So, it's time to have a look at stage 21 to Paris...
Vincenzo Nibali joins an elite club: 6th rider to win all 3 Grand Tours. First Italian in 16 years
to win the Tour. Marco Pantani last won in 1998.
Chapeau to our Canadians: Svein Tuft (131st) & Christian Meier (121st, riding his first Tour)!
Stage 18 was the final day in the Pyrenees ending on top of the Hautacom. Vincenzo the Shark Nibali looks set to become the overall winner after sealing it attacking on the final mountain winning in spectacular fashion. The race is still undecided for second and third. Pinot (2nd), Péraud (3rd) and Valverde (4th) is too close to call. Only 15secs are separating these guys as it goes right down to Saturday's TT. Of the three, the ageless Péraud (37yrs) is the strongest time trialist and the scale tips in his favor to ride a scorcher of a TT.
Romain Bardet, stage 14.
Currently 5th overall, 9:27.
Stage 1 KoMs for Jensie.
photo Graham Watson
The ever-popular Jens Voigt is glad that his last day of racing in the Pyrenees is over. He's due to retire at the end of this season. I'll remember him for his tireless attacking efforts, on numerous occasions telling his legs to Shut Up! He wrote an article for Bicycling, 'My Last Mountain Stage' that's worth reading. After stage 18s hellish stage he said, " Fuck I'm happy this shit is over!"
However, Friday is a flat stage - a welcome relief for him (and for the rest of the riders). So, will he be in the breakaway? Oh yeah he will!
In the Pyrenees...
Avoiding a possible accident, Nibali strong arms a fan attempting a selfie. When will folks learn to stay attention?
Fan favorite, Jack Bauer pulls a wheelie on today's stage 18...
Stage 17 BrakeThroughMedia
Didi, stage 17 Cors Vos
Majka and Purito, stage 17 Cors Vos
Stage 17 Cors Vos
A likely story. photo Graham Watson
You all remember Luca Paolini was caught using his cell phone on stage 8 by Graham Watson on twitter. Paolini responded with an apology for breaking the race rules, explaining he wasn't texting and emailing but accidentally left the phone in his jersey pocket and was merely turning it off before handing it to the team car. Initially, he was given a warning, but the organizers later charged him a fine of 50 Swiss Francs.
New custom Café Roubaix cycling caps made by Red Dots Cycling...
photo Red Dots Cycling
May I direct your attention that a new batch of Café Roubaix custom embroidered cycling caps are now available to purchase here.