Day for heroes
THE Tour de France is possibly the most heroic, treble-hard sporting event on the planet.
Everyday a group goes for broke and takes off down the road.
Everyday you are cheering them, imploring them to stay ahead, but everyday they are reeled in by the masses.
Staging a breakaway in the Tour de France is sporting suicide.
Today was a day when men became heroes, when men earned stories to tell their grandchildren.
And life is all about stories.
Today a group of nine riders burst clear and stayed clear.
One of the riders, Frenchman Brice Feillu, drove himself clear of his rivals to take the stage win and with it the King of the Mountains polka-dot jersey.
That his brother and teammate, Romain, crossed the line nearly half an hour later in tears, says it all.
This is Feillu’s first tour and he will probably never have as good a day for the rest of his entire career.
But the day’s real winner was Italian Rinaldo Nocentini.
Little-known Nocentini managed, somehow, to drag himself past Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador to claim the yellow jersey as the tour’s overall leader.
To pull on the yellow jersey in the Tour de France is every cyclist’s dream and Nocentini described it as the “most beautiful moment of my career”.
Not the best, not the happiest, the most beautiful.
The only chance his grandchildren have of not hearing this story is if he does not have any.