18 July 2008

Stage Thirteen: Narbonne > Nîmes

It's another day for the sprinters as Stage 13 travels near the Mediterranean coastline from Narbonne to the Roman city of Nîmes, where ancient architecture contrasts with the modern architecture in the city centre, including works by some of our most pre-eminent contemporary architects such as Sir Norman Foster. However, the most relevant interesting tidbit about Nîmes for our purposes is that it is well known for its textiles - a fact which is reflected in the name given to one of its specialty fabrics: Serge de Nîmes,
better known nowadays as denim!

Take a bow Team Columbia! Your unstoppable Mark Cavendish, dubbed by some as "the new Robbie McEwan", nosed ahead of Robbie McEwan (now, sadly, dubbed "the old Robbie McEwan"?) to win the bunch sprint in Nimes in clinical fashion, though coming from a boxed-in, unwinnable-looking position 300m from the finish line.

Cavendish is quoted as saying of today's finish, "I put in another kick with about 100 to go in case I died. I didn't die and I was able to hold on so I'm pleased." Goodness me, I'm pleased he didn't die as well! And I'm sure the UK Olympic authorities are also quite pleased. Apparently Cavendish has been under pressure to leave the Tour to go rest and prepare for the Olympics, which begin in Beijing on 8th August. There are whispers that Cavendish may in fact leave the Tour in the next day or so as we head into les Alpes - where the opportunities for sprinters will dry up. Time will tell - but personally I think it'd be great to see him ride into Paris on July 27th!

Gerolsteiner's Sven Krauss had probably the most spectacular crash we've seen this year. While he walked away unscathed, his bike was carried off the road broken in half!

The standings after Stage 13:
Yellow: Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
Green: Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
Polka Dot: Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner)
White: Vincenzo Nibale (Liquigas)
Team: Team CSC

Reminder: There are just two days left to enter the 2nd Intermediate Sprint!

Team AG2R-Mondiale
Steph has changed her project and is now working a UFO that's over a year old. There's still time to wear the shorts this summer if she finishes them by the end of the Tour.

Team Lampre update: After much debate over how to deal with running out of yarn, Natalie had a happy ending with her pink and green socks, going for a sassy stripe.Donna is so close to finishing Tempest: "Whoopee! Still riding well. Though I must admit to some exhaustion. I am not usually so committed to a single project. But the linen on the Addis is superfast. Fronts done. Back done. On to the sleeves. Three cheers for people who design three-quarters length sleeves for fast knitting (and a cute look)."Team CSC:

CathyAnn has taught herself magic loop and these seems to be working better for her sleeves on the cardigan. She still isn't sure about the fit of the peplum but it's looking like it will have to be frogged somewhat...another mountain for her to climb!

Elisa is DONE. Her cardigan is complete except for buttons. Finishing pics coming soon.

Ina has been busy with tomatoes, bananas (in the form of socks) and other non-TdFKAL things!!

Team Rabobank:

With Oscar Freire sporting the Green Jersey, there is no excuse for us not to be steaming ahead on our TdF knitting – unless you are Maria, who just dashed off to GREECE for a massive Girl’s-Several-Nights-And-Days-Away-Somewhere-Utterly-Gorgeous Trip (are we jealous….yes!) (and check out the outfit-maker thingy she uses for her pic!)
And then there is our Team Captain Sarah, whiling away the weekend at Knitting Camp (oh yes, we’re jealous!!)

Although saddened by riders testing positive and withdrawals, knitting-wise, Sandy has crested the peak of her entrelac bag, and is starting the downhill run – she says she is a little over halfway done. She has also been working on a Spring Forward sock, and has some gratuitous yarn pr*n – be warned!

Bells is finding it hard to get through the peleton – she has finished the back of her sister’s cardigan, but those pesky sleeves have been spinning her in circles. However she has them on the straight and narrow again now and is picking up the pace.

MeganO (Rav) has been cycling and knitting (not simultaneously) but is now resting her hands before picking up the Eyelet Cardi again, bethgirl’s (Rav) project page says she is into the second Baudelaire, Lisa put up a tantalising plan of hexagons on her project page but is having too much fun to show us any more, and Erika has finished the stripes on her BYOBag, and is looking forward to the openwork section once she conquers the seed stitch stage!

As for me, some long days and splashes of housework have come between me and my TdF Ondulation tunic, so I have been finding a little relief in the twisty cables of my Rattlesnake Creek sock – but it is Saturday, and there will be daylight knitting and testing on the recipient, so stay tuned!

And to make up for the lack of knitting pics, here is Ribby Man cheering our team on for glory!

Ribby Man cheering on Team Rabobank

Team Quick Step Update
Gretchen is pedaling along with her French Market bag.

and is so pleased with this one, she's making Market bags for everyone! Ok, just her children then.
Madalyn has come to the decision that her Lucy Shawl was a bit too challenging and has found a new lace project that she feels she'll get on with.
Le Chale Chaleureux
Good luck Madalyn
Whitney is learning about her region for the Intermediate Sprint #2, the post is coming soon and if you want to know a little bit about where I'm (Angie) from and my town's big secret, go see my blog.

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