I admit it, I am a Tour Tragic. I would happily stay up past midnight to watch the live action, except these weeks are my weeks for working at the school holiday programme. That means early morning starts. 😦
I love the tactics of the race. I love the skills of the riders. I love their determination. And of course, I LOVE the eye candy of France. Occasionally I see places where I have drunk coffee or villages I have been through.
The Tour has been full of doping and scandal. However in Stage 6 something happened that undercut a lot of that.
But a quick diversion for those who know nothing about the Tour. Although it looks like a bunch of cyclists riding down winding roads, there are teams within the Tour. Orica Greenedge is an Australian team which is competing in its second year. They had their first stage win which gave their leader, Simon Gerrans, the yellow jersey. This is the Gold Standard of Cycling, something cyclists dream of. Standing on the podium, Gerrans had a smile as big as Mt Buller, the mountain near his home town of Mansfield.
He wore the yellow jersey during the next stage. Not only was the jersey yellow, but so was his helmet and bike! His team mates wore yellow on their helmets and their race number on their backs, usually white, were also yellow. Orica Greenedge was one proud team riding out the next day!
But Gerrans had another surprise. He could have easily taken the lead on Stage 6, and kept the yellow jersey. Instead at the end he slowed up for a few seconds to allow fellow team mate Daryl Impey to become the race leader and the yellow jersey wearer.
“Daryl was a huge part of me getting the jersey so I thought it was a nice gesture to be able to pass it on to him now,” Gerrans said. “He was an integral part of the team’s time trial. I thought it was only fitting that he could spend a day or two in the jersey as well.”
Orica-GreenEdge team manager Shayne Bannan confirmed the plan was for Gerrans to lead-out sprinter Matthew Goss before letting Impey “put as much space between him and Simon as possible to get the jersey”.
Director Matt White said the plan was hatched 24 hours earlier.
“Simon came to me yesterday afternoon and asked if it was okay for him to pass the jersey along to Daryl,” he said in statement. (HeraldSun, July 6 2013)
Impey takes yellow as Greipel wins TDF stage six.
Impey, from South Africa, is the first African to wear the yellow jersey.
So, if all you know about the Tour is doping scandals, you now know that generosity and mateship is a part of it too.
4 replies on “Gotta love the Tour de France, and Simon Gerrans”
I’m not really a fan of the Tour but I still find myself watching it at night, it is like a slow motion drive through some beautiful countryside. I can imagine how special it is to you having actually been there!
I love that Gerrans happily handed on the yellow jersey, the person who gets it could never win without the help of their teammates so it is nice to see that acknowledged with such a wonderful gesture.
I have to admit I haven’t been following the Tour at all because of the doping scandals. As an American, it’s particularly disappointing with Lance Armstrong. But it’s good to see that enthusiasm for the race remains!
The crowds along the sides of the roads seem bigger than the last few years. It may be because it is the 100th Tour, but people are certainly enthusiastic. And it appears not to be just the French, if the flags they wave is anything to go by.
I understand what you say about the doping issues. It has been a blight on the sport. Armstrong rarely rates a mention in the commentary. Now he has been stripped of those yellow jerseys it is as though he never raced at all. Is their attitude “don’t mention it and it will seem like it never happened”?
It still shocks me when I hear that Lance Armstrong won 7 tours! Crazy. He was monopolizing the sport. Doping is also a much bigger issue because it has really affected another great American past time, baseball. There’s been another drug scandal in the news lately about baseball and I think it’s really left everyone here in disbelief.