Nice to Sisteron and another day of rain for a lot of the ride. Last year and this year they mount a camera on a rider's helmet so it can take photos of the riders behind him. The images are somewhat distorted from the bouncing of the tires and the speed but the images make for possible abstract paintings.
I learned that the white lines down the middle and along the sides of roads are slick in the rain but great during a time trial when it is dry. 2 tons of hand sanitizer has been distributed by the Tour to the public.
This stage was one climb after another with quick descents. The professional cyclists all have electronic gears and just have to push a button to change gears.
Three riders were in the breakaway from the start Perez, Cousins and Cosnecov (wearing polka dot jersey). There were points to be earned in the mountains today and Perez managed to win the most points and so he took away the polka dot jersey to wear tomorrow. Unfortunately he crashed and broke his collarbone. I sure hope they give him the jersey as a keepsake but Cosnecov will be in the jersey tomorrow. Sagan won the intermediate sprint and so will be in the green jersey tomorrow. Julian Alaphilippe remains in the yellow jersey and was playing it safe on this stage. J Cousins who rode in the breakaway most of the 182 miles alone before the peloton caught him with 16 miles to the finish line and will wear the "red" number as Most Aggressive Rider. The scenery was spectacular today and I got quite a few images of scenery, interesting architecture and some good images of the cyclists in the spints. We haven't visited this particular part of France but it definitely is on the list for the next trip.
Stage 2 began with only 3 riders dropped due to broken bones but there was a lot of bandages visible in the group that the commentators used the term "mummies." The weather was perfect and the day would be a difficult one of climbing and the final descent was not only spectacular as you can see above but the roads were narrow. All managed to come through this part of the course.
8 riders broke away at the start and 6 managed to stay away getting all of the intermediate sprint points. Kristoff wearing the yellow jersey couldn't keep up with the peloton so the yellow jersey was up for grabs. Peter Sagan was in the breakaway for the 23rd time at the Tour but went back to the Peloton midway. The breakaway wasn't caught until 25 miles to the finish.
Back together it wasn't long before teams organized for the final sprint and finish. Favorites emerged: Julian Alaphilippe, Adam Yates was a bit of a surprise, and a newcomer, Marc Hirschi broke away with enough time between them and the peloton for one of them to win the stage and put on the yellow jersey. In the photos above it was an interesting finish which involved tactics, power, and patience. Julian proved once again to have the right amount of each to win the stage and put the yellow jersey as he did in 2019. I painted him last year in the painting above and glad he was able to resume that quest again.
I learned an interesting fact about the slippery roads around Nice when it rains. Evidently the sap from the olive trees can leak down onto the roads and make them slick as glass. So the caution was totally called for yesterday.
I love the saying that was repeatedtoday: "You can't win the Tour today but you can lose it." Cautionary advice to many young and anxious riders. Again all precautionary measures were taken by fans, staff, volunteers, and the fans to keep the Corona Virus away from the Tour. Aman.
I got up at 4:45 am to watch the opening ride behind the pace car and see who was actually riding in the Tour this year. Several of the best known riders are not there this year. Chris Froome is still recovering from his injuries from over a year ago but is planning on being in great form for the Vuelta de Espana in September. Several well known cyclists such as Geraint Thomas and Mark Cavandish were not selected by their respective teams based on their earlier performances in tours over the past several months. Several cyclists were injured in the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné in midi-August and had not recovered enough from their injuries.
An unexpected rainstorm hit the City of Nice shortly after the start of Stage 1 this morning and played havoc with the narrow, windy roads. Crashes happened throughout the race and I'm sure the team doctors and local hospitals will be looking over a large number of the cyclists this evening. I have not heard if all the cyclists finished within the time limit because of the first crashes and having to ride the entire way without any other cyclists to pull them along.
As could have been anticipated, three riders created a breakaway right out of the start and stayed away until 58K to the finish line. One of them qualified for the King of the Mountains, Polka Dot Jersey to wear tomorrow and the other who crashed right at the 3M line gets to wear the "red" number tomorrow at the most combative rider.
I thought you would find it important that all the fans by the roadside and people involved in the ceremony were wearing masks, including the winners on the stage. No kisses this year. They have gone to every length to keep everyone in the Tour safe. George Bennett called for the peloton to stage a "truce" on the final descent because the roads were so slick. They didn't want any more injuries and to give the cyclists who had crashed a chance to catch up at the rear of the peloton. George crashed again at the end but finished within the time limit. Astana broke the "truce" at one point and almost immediately on a corner, their leader, Lopez's, bike lost control and he crashed into a sign. He got back up and hopefully is okay.
Race Results: It was a sprint finish and Alexander Kristoff of UAE pulled off a very strategic finish going around Peter Sagan at just the right moment to win Stage 1 and the Yellow Jersey and the Green Jersey. He was very happy to finally win a stage but most importantly get to wear the Yellow Jersey tomorrow. M. Pederson will be wearing the white jersey as Best Young Rider and he finished 2nd. I think Peter Sagan will wear the Green Jersey tomorrow.
Hope tomorrow's weather because it will be a tough day of climbing.
I thought you might enjoy seeing the routes of the 21 stages. The official start list of the 107th Tour de France has been released with 176 riders divided in 30 different nationalities. We have only 2 Americans this year.
- Defending champion Egan Bernal expressed his ambitions as well as Frenchman Thibaut Pinot who was forced to a dramatic abandon last year.
- Stage 1 from Nice to Nice will develop 156 kilometres. It suits the sprinters like Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett, Giacomo Nizzolo and Peter Sagan.
NOTE: They’ll move into a bubble as part of the anti-Covid-19 measures.
Sharing my paintings with others is one of the joys in my life. Educating others about how I paint and the media I use is very important and why I wanted to reach out through this blog. Hope you will add a comment about what you see. What else would you like to see here?.
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