13 July 2009

Tour de France - the Combativity Jersey

You're looking at the Liquigas Team, who have just been presented to the crowds in Monaco and are riding away from the podium, throwing toys at the audience. You can see one in Franco Pellizotti's hand in the small photo. Yesterday, this courageous man won the red 'combativity' jersey, which is awarded at each stage by a committee.

Yes I didn't know there was anything other than the Yellow Jersey but in fact there are other coloured jerseys too.

Personally I've never had any interest in the Tour de France before it came to Monaco. I'd read about doping, of course, I loved to see Lance Armstrong on the podium in Paris but that was about it. Now I'm a daily addict. First of all, whether you are interested in cycling or not, turn on the television - French or Eurosport - or whatever you get, because the feed is the same - if you want to see France in all its glory, you'll see it here. You get amazing helicopter shots of monasteries on the top of inaccessible mountains, you see rivers and villages as you've never seen them before - alongside a potted history. You get restaurant recommendations, what to do, where to go - but of course that's during the less exciting parts of the ride.

Yesterday's stage was 160 kilometres in the Pyrénées, with two high peaks to climb, one at over 2000 feet and a long and very dangerous fast descent to the Finish. After 12 ks four riders pushed ahead, but later, just two remained and one is the guy you see here. For much of the ride they were around 4.5 minutes ahead of the peloton, but a few kilometres before the finish line, the peloton started to catch up with the two leading riders until there was only 45 seconds in it but they kept going - goodness knows how? And then at the end, there was a final crazy lunge by the two of them. Pellizotto was 2nd and the winner was the other guy, Frenchman, Pierrick Féderigo, who won by about a wheel length. So it's no surprise to know that Pellizotto took the Combativity jersey. I was exhausted just watching...

Today is a rest day when the riders are flown to their next starting point.


maria said...

Back in the Eddie Merckx days, coverage was limited. Today, we can watch it anywhere at any time and follow the riders as they go through beautiful Europe.

Jilly, your pictures have truly added to the excitement.

P.S. Any chance you'll be in South Africa for the World Cup next year?? :) :) :)

Drew said...

As I was reading your post Jilly I thought about how exciting your life would be if you were able to ride in one of the helicopters. A photographer’s dream ride I suspect.

Jane Hards Photography said...

I am so used to watching this on the TV now we forget how little coverage it used to get. Terrific shots, espcailly the ladies in the crowd who do seem to be enjoying the leg show.

Kate said...

Unfortunately I do not get the cable station that films the Tour and I am FRUSTRATED.

Great photos, Jilly! Thanks for transporting me to the scene.

Related Posts with Thumbnails