13 July 2008

Stage Nine: Toulouse > Bagnères-de-Bigorre

Today the Tour enters the Pyrenees. Watch out for riders from Team Euskaltel - Euskadi, traditionally a Basque team, to be on the attack over the next few stages as the mountains of the Pyrenees are where they like to stretch their legs! With three major climbs, including the brutal 14km, 1569m, 7% climb of the Col de Peyresourdre, and a long, daunting descent to the finish line, this stage is the kind of thing that gets Tour de France afficionados smacking their lips in anticipation come the cycling season every year!

There was plenty of drama on the road today. My own personal favourite, Cadel Evans, had a crash and suffered some injuries but still managed to complete the stage without losing any time in the GC standings. Ricardo "the cobra" Ricco attacked 4km from the summit of the final climb of the day, the Col d'Aspin and had a clear lead by the time he hit the summit. He had no problem keeping his lead over the next 26km of mostly downhill to the finish. Ricco's 2nd stage win this year.

The standings after Stage Nine:
Yellow: Kim Kirchen (Columbia)
Green: Kim Kirchen (Columbia)
Polka Dot: David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott)
White: Andy Schleck (CSC)
Team: Team CSC

Team Lampre
update: Now that Donna is through with her business trip, she has gotten down to real business with Tempest: "I am back in the peleton and have finished the back of my Tempest! Yipee! Definitely counts as a mountain stage."
Now that Cindy has located the rest of her yarn, she has started the intarsia pattern of Stargate. "I am now a bit worried I will need extra wool. It took 2x50g balls for each sleeve, and I reckon it will take more to do a front than that. It will now be a race against the wool, rather than the clock."
Natalie is racing along on her first TdF WIP, having turned the heel of a sock and speeding toward the cuff. The pair will be fraternal rather than identical twins.

Team Garmin Chipotle sends greetings and a shoulder for Team Liquigas....Triki how could you?
Our first news is that Jane who has the most beautiful photo in Ravelry, is hanging on the Team Doctor Car. A case of flu has been diagnosed. She also had to get new needles from a technician to redo (gasp) her Notre Dame de Grace. As she thought, the size needle did not work out. I’m having a stiff cup of tea in her honor. Send her good wishes team.

Denise sends word that she has 20 rows of her Shoalwater Shawl done.

Anne In Connecticut sent us this picture of her very first sock. She is knitting in the flat and will seam it. She's a sure bet for the white jersey!
Emily mused about her sock.” I adore this pattern. It's so easy. Have I mentioned how easy it is? Cause it's pretty simple. And yet, I only have the cuff done. I'm about to start the heel (i trimmed off a pattern repeat or two, just to make sure i don't run out of yarn two inches away from the toe of my second sock. i honestly believe that that would kill me. and everything around me.) and hopefully that goes as easily as the rest. I feel slightly bad for taking out almost an inch of sock, but I'd rather have slightly shorter socks that are complete than one long sock and one leg warmer with a foot and no toes. One of these days, I'm going to have to break down and just buy a small digital scale. I think it'll help cut back on the guesswork by a ton.”

Norma is now on Ravelry, Her ID is babushkablue. Stop in and say HI. She sent pictures of her wee polkadot jersey,
her pelaton scarf (see all the riders nicely lined up
and a purple peplexing cardy whose designer “should be charged with a doping incident” . Five attempts, a call to the woolen mill where she bought the pattern and a call to her sister before she made the change from the top picture to the bottom. The tour inspired her to persevere or it would have been tossed long ago
Bridget sent a photo of her Bon Bon Socklettes,, chosen for their name and because she liked the pattern.

Team Rabobank wishes a hearty Happy Birthday to Bells today! And Sandy has a great Intermediate Sprint post up about learning to ride a recumbent bicycle at 42 after carpal tunnel syndrome forced her off her old bike. The rest of us are husbanding our energies for a big effort tomorrow over the hors categorie climbs of the Tourmalet and Hautacam. We'll close this update with a shot of Sarah's secret yellow cardigan camouflaged amid the produce from the farmers' market:

Team Quick Step Update
After a bit of a diversion and a quick sprint, I feel like I'm getting somewhere with my scarf

after completing a whole diamond lace border this weekend.
Gretchen is chugging along with the peleton and knitting a wonderful French Market bag inspired by their flag.

She says "I saw the red, white and blue yarn, and instead of thinking of Old Glory, it immediately gave me the thoughts of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite and the Tour".

Whitney is on her "Underarm Gussets"

as usual she explains what she's doing in detail in her blog.

I've just had a message from Marge who's doing a fine job in finishing her Fairisle Cardigan, she says "I started to encase the sleeves and it feels like the mountains. The front was very long and the sleeves not nearly as many stitches, but there are two of them, imagine that~two sleeves~who knew :)"
Marge has also very kindly put together a site for the Team Quick Stitch blogs Thank you very much Marge!

And last but certainly not least Shelley says "I've calculated the really complex and evil lace section to coincide perfectly with the start of the mountain stages". She's hoping to have some photos soon. Good luck for your new job today Shelley!

Team Silence-Lotto is riding right along. Ozknitter is making good headway on both of her projects, the scarf and the socks. Joline thinks that silk lace knitting might be just the thing for summer as she races along with her Juno Regia. And I am riding uphill through the mountains on the shawl. Halfway through the repeats. I would be heartened except each row grows and grows!


Sarah said...

Love these updates, keeping me sane while I can't watch the tour because of a business trip!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Bells!

Meg said...

What a sly cardigan, hiding in amongst all that fresh produce! Happy birthday to Bells from me too!

cathyannhenry said...

My compliments to the KAL organizers for their witty comments likening our knitting difficulties to cycling challenges. They are as entertaining as Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, though in a different sort of way.