Saturday, June 30, 2012

Epilogue to a Prologue

I have been truly fortunate to have locals so eager to assist me in this my first foreign reporting assignment. Without the aid of the world community of cycling fans, my coverage of the Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser would lack style, flair and flavor. My sincerest hopes are to have the remainder of this trip go as well as the first days have.

With the aid of a fellow cycling aficionado and patron of the first bar cum cafe that I happened to walk into, I was able to secure a fantastic table on the route for today's prologue time trial. I counted myself both fortunate and lucky to find myself perched course-side with a paper cone of pommes frites and a lovely glass of fine Belgian ale. With a few hours to kill before the real action began, I settled down to eat, drink and learn more about this wonderful little country and some of its citizens, starting with my new found friend.

My how the time flies when you are trying to get to know more about the new area you are visiting! Alas, I caught a streak of red and black out of the corner of my eye and watched in horror as the hunched form of Cadel Evans became a distant blur in a matter of seconds. I failed you, dear reader, and missed most of the action of today's events, but I have diligently put together as much information as possible to make up for my lack of focus and I promise you, dear reader, that my A game is now in full effect. What follows is my best effort to recap the days excitement that I heard about from some of the people who paid a bit more attention to the race than I...

So today's prologue time trial is much like the event pictured to the left (only it isn't on the track, you aren't allowed to use a motor, you can't draft off of anyone or anything, and nobody had this kind of body fat on display). Each man left the start house and throttled himself into oblivion for a little over 6 km or until he died from the effort. (That last part might not be right, the two guys I heard it from had drunk a lot more beer than I had and I've got to be honest and say that would have to be a substantial amount.)

Each rider put forward a towering display of athletic prowess except the guys that were outside of the top 30 or so. The guys from about 100th place back just looked like they were ready to pack it in and call it a day. So, on to the results.

Fabian Cancellara (pictured here from his wildly popular TV show Spartacus, which I'm sorry to say I haven't seen but is apparently really good and he uses his character's name in some of his cycling endeavors) put on an awesome display of power and took the stage win.

Bradley Wiggins (pictured here at a post race interview) put in a very strong performance to finish second and put a stamp of authority on his bid to claim this year's top step in Paris.

But enough about the actual race. The moment you have all dreamed of for a year or less has come. We can now put forward the first yellow jersey of the 2012 Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser.

In 3rd place, with strong performances from Cancellara, Wiggins, and Van Garderen, directeur sportif  Jeff Welch of the Dottatope team.  In 2nd place, riding high on the backs and thighs of Chavenal, Wiggins, and Van Garderen, directeur sportif Eric Winebarger of the Mountain Don't team. And finally, our first bearer of the golden fleece, with strong performances from Wiggins, Van Garderen, and Cancellara, a newcomer to the LCBDFTdFpbUCNSP is directeur sportif Steve White of Team Hoogerland's Thigh.  Congratulations to our top three. To further the depth of our coverage, I make a humble request that all participants send me a photo of themselves (or a reasonable facsimile) wearing or wrapped in something yellow for future press releases.

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