Belfort to Porrentruy (157.5 kilometers)
One of the things American TV viewers miss on their Tour coverage are the behind the scenes moments of French TV. Sure, If you have been watching NBC’s coverage there are certainly “olympic” like human interest montages of of an American sort but there is nothing like watching Mark Madiot scream at the troops like a mid-western, high school basketball coach. No we are not talking about the exultant Madiot in the back of the team car during Pinot’s victory on stage eight but rather Madiot’s abashed moments during the 2011 Tour. The Heroes caught the two time Paris-Roubaix winner on TV as he berated his FDJ team aboard the bus. Madiot screamed at his troops, not for riding but rather just riding. He wanted panache. Absent victory in the General Classification this is the only thing he could demand of his cyclists and they were not giving it. Some of the riders looked upon Madiot with disdain as they perceived his performance as nothing more than TV time for the Director Sportif. Sensing that he was losing his audience on the bus and more importantly those of France as they sipped their pastis, he launched into a seething, tragicomic wrecking ball. YOU HAVE NO GLORY! YOU HAVE NO COURAGE! Riders sat up in their seats and listened a bit more attentively and some 12 months later one of his rider’s, Pinot, responded with a glittering attack on the last climb!
In other news
“Those were the longest ten kilometers of my life. When I saw 10km to go and the peloton was coming back, I was really afraid.”
The above quote is the kind of thing we expect from a stage winner. Vulnerability, courage, fear, joy, and triumph ringing loudly in 22 year old Pinot’s post-race comments. They are not surprising words and yet they seem freshly spoken. Other comments of note come from Bradley Wiggins during the Q & A. He was tired of the lame-stream media of constantly living in a time-warped FESTINA-US POSTAL parallel universe and thereby not capable of believing in the beauty of sport. To the Heroes we loved it. Bradley is so Post-Lance that we believe he is going to try to place his victory in minutes to establish a new epoch. But back to word usage, if you are reading cycling news you will see they used the resourceful asterisk when discussing his use of the C-Word as in “C**t”, or as we like to type, CUNT.
Chapeau Wiggo your verbal assaults are getting us closer to Post-Festina-US Postal universe we all wish to live in.