Tour 2010: Stage 4 (1)

After yesterday’s dramas and traumas, today’s flat run from Cambrai to Reims was bound to be a bit of a comedown. It certainly was for Mark Cavendish, who trailed in 12th on a near-perfect day for the sprinters. The main contenders called a truce as expected, so there was no change in the overall Tour standings.
While I wouldn’t have changed places with any of the riders yesterday, I couldn’t help envying them today, as they bowled through the rolling fields of Champagne. Professional cyclists lead a hard and dangerous life, but it looked pretty good to me this afternoon. And I think they knew it, too.

PERFECT DAY

Warm sun, light winds,
Wide views over endless fields
Bristling with windmills.

Hard tyres, smooth tarmac,
Deep carbon rims
Slicing the summer air.

High speed, low effort,
Hands on the hoods,
Chatting with the boys.

Unladen bike, empty pockets,
Food, drink and spares
Following in the car.

Short stage, quick finish,
With massage, dinner, bed
Waiting at the end.

Easy day, simple task,
Three hours on the road.
Knowing how lucky they are.

Cambrai-Reims, 153.3km
Won by Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini)
Maillot jaune: Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

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