Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

7.17.2006

An Update

If you’re only going to watch one stage of the Tour de France this year, tomorrow would be a good one. It is the first day in the Alps with three terribly difficult climbs, and finishes with the most legendary ascent in France: L’Alpe d’Huez. The crowd will be huge and it’s very possible that the eventual winner could be decided.

It will be far from the only exciting stage, though. Some fans have almost gotten bored in recent years, since it seemed Lance used the same formula to win year after year. He would try to gain every second on his rivals during the early time trials, but wouldn’t worry about leading the race at first. Then he would put the hammer down during the first big mountain stage and usually end up in yellow. After that his team would be in front of the peleton and in control of everything for the rest of the race.

Not so, this year. We have already had 7 different riders wear yellow (one short of the record) and are only to the second rest day (today). Floyd Landis was the fastest contender on the first time trial and has that time advantage over his main rivals. The decisive stage to this point has been stage 11, the second day in the Pyrenees. The lead group was reduced to 18 strong men on the 4th of 5 climbs that day, then splintered even more on the last one. All that remained at the end were Landis, Levi Leipheimer, and Dennis Menchov, with Floyd taking over yellow. Levi looked really strong, but had lost almost 6 minutes to Floyd on the time trial and remained outside of the top ten overall. Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Andreas Kloden, and a few others were close on the stage and remain within striking distance of the lead.

Floyd and his team, Phonak, haven’t felt they have the strength to dominate the way Discovery used to, though. They tried to avoid setting the pace the entire first week and let a breakaway duo win by over 7 minutes in the first mountain stage (one of whom, Dessel, took the yellow). They let Discovery’s Yaroslav Popovych take back 4 of his 9 minutes from Floyd in a break on stage 12 and rode tempo in front the next day while a pair crossed the line almost 30 minutes ahead of them. Oscar Pereiro took the yellow back on that stage and now leads Floyd by 1’29. They have chosen to give up the lead so someone else will have to work to protect the lead and they can save themselves for the important stages the rest of the week. That starts tomorrow, and we’ll see if Landis can get back his lead or if he gambled too much. It will be an exciting day (and week), to be sure.

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