Pierre Rolland Wins Stage Eleven of the 2012 TDF

Albertville to La Toussuire – Les Sybelles (148 kilometers)

In Brief

Baseball is a game of inches or so said legendary baseball man, Branch Rickey. It may be defining description of the game. It is so accurate it is hard to believe that the statement can be credited to only one man. It is operable on defense, offense and the nuances of the game. The Heroes remember when pitcher Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lieber illustrated this when he constantly threw inside to the infamous slugger Barry Bonds about 10 years ago. The pitches were not just thrown to move Barry Bonds off the plate but within an inch of Mr. Bonds protective knee brace. Not once but twice and Bonds could feel the “inches” to the point that he screamed at Lieber and later protested to the umpire in vain. Cycling is a bit more difficult to pin down in such a succinct way but after stage elven we can settle on this statment:

Cycling is a sport of Meters, Hunger and Significant Others

Since we are a day late on discussing Mr. Rolland, you may have already heard about the wonderful back and forth between Wiggo’s wife and Froome’s girlfriend on twitter. In case you have not please follow this LINK to the NY TIMES. Robert Mackey does a nice job of describing the tension emerging from surprising and passionate quarters.

Butterflies and Pierre Rolland

For today’s stage we celebrate Pierre Rolland’s stage win a tricolor butterflies. Yes we reference the climber’s ability to float up the cols, but we also use this image to reference the thing man’s fragility as Rolland’s slow motion crash left him with clipped wings for much of the stage. A beautiful victory it was.

Wiggo, Cadel and Froome

Those of us watching stage eleven at Hero Headquarter’s Chicago have a couple of observation to make. First, no matter what David Brailsford says about journalist’s creative imagination concerning Froome and Wiggins, we think the journalists queries maybe apt as we can imagine a resurgent Cadel climbing well in Pyrenees. If Bradley cannot follow, we suspect Froome will. Secondly, Wiggins has gained more time than BMC, the press or even the Heroes could have imagined two weeks ago. The chorus of voices from Team BMC, Team Sky and other pretenders hopefully state the tour has not even approached the final week. True enough but the time gaps look so great that we are not sure a reversal will come from racing but rather something desultory as an unfortunate crash.