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Another dose of the Tour rest day blues
THE Tour de France has reached its second rest day, leaving a bike-shaped hole in my evening.
And since the weather was too grim to go for a ride tonight, I've been perusing the bike-related books I've acquired over the last couple of years.
That's helping to pass the time until we get to the very serious business of racing in the Pyrenees over the next two days.
Bradley Wiggins is going to have a fight on his hands as he defends his yellow jersey in these mountains.
Main rival Vincenzo Nibali is going to be looking to take some time out of him on the climbs - these could easily be the two most dramatic days in the whole race.
Countless tours have been decided on the roads that lie ahead this week. And tomorrow's main passes - the Col d'Aubisque and the Col du Tourmalet - are among the most well-known, most ridden and (for the riders) most feared in the history of the race.
When the Tour first climbed the 2,115m Tourmalet in 1910, Octave Lapize was the first rider to make it to the top.
He famously screamed "You are murderers" at the race organisers, which gives a flavour of what the riders will be suffering as they attack the climb tomorrow.
Let's hope Wiggo's having a good day.
- Reading about Tours of yesteryear has put me in mind of watching Channel 4's Tour highlights show when I was a mere schoolboy.
The coverage provided by ITV4 these days is fantastic, offering the classic team of Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and Gary Imlach, supplemented by excellent contributions by cycling legend Chris Boardman and reporters Ned Boulting and Matt Rendell.
But they just don't make theme tunes like they used to . . .
Anyway, until tomorrow, it's back to the books.
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