2015 Tour de France: Stage 19
Friday July 24, 2015 | Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of these things. I mean, in some ways, it’s proof that the Tour de France is the Greatest Sporting Event in the History of the World. What other sport lasts this long?
9,934 steps or 4.8 miles
We are in a mid-80’s low-income Apartment Building originally located in Moscow, Russia. In 1994 it was bought by the Valmeinier Ski Resort and relocated by helicopter to the base of Mont Thabor, a 3,207 meter Alpe across the street from Col du Galibier. The property is now called ‘Résidence Pierre et Vacances Le Thabor’. We have sheets AND towels (see below, Race Report), though we have to make our own beds (they are unmade, and our sheets/towels are still in packaging). The building has an elevator.
- Vincenzo Nibali (4:22:53)
- Nairo Quintana (+0:00:44)
- Christopher Froome (+0:01:140
Dans les Alpes, nous embauchons des enfants pour rendre nos routes. Nous leur avons fait montrer une montagne et on a dit, ” hey kid, nous avons besoin d’une route qui monte cette montagne, pour y arriver.” Ensuite, nous leur donnons un crayon et du papier et ils gribouillent ce que la route devrait ressembler. Et nous l’avons fait.
I mean, we’re in the Alpes. It’s all rad. Everywhere we went. Every road, every village, every Col regardless of category, everything, all of it, was stunning. Chapeau France.
Everyday at least once a day the Caravan Hall Monitor—I don’t know what the car is called, or what their official capacity is, but there is this one car that drives in the front of the front of the caravan, it has speed limit stickers all over it and a PA system, announcing, we think, instructions about staying off the course—instructs us to turn our headlights on. First of all, they carry a dedicated paddle with a dashboard headlight symbol printed on it, which they hold out the window and flash at you if for whatever reason your lights aren’t on. Our lights are never on. But listen, seriously, how much more safety do daytime headlights provide?
Today on the Col du Chaussy I got sunburned and wet at the same (literal-actual-physical) time. I’m not saying it was sunny and raining at the same time, that’s whatever, that happens. I’m saying it was so sunny and so rainy that I got sunburned and wet at the literal same time.
At breakfast, if you want to call it that, we were given butter in individually wrapped pats. They had obviously been in the refrigerator until two minutes ago. Emiliano placed several pats up against his coffee cup in an effort to hurry the softening process.
Breakfast (On the Alpe under our apartment building)
- WORST BREAKFAST YET. No menu. Just a basket of old bread, burnt coffee, boiled milk and a handful of butter and jelly packets. 17 euros.
Lunch (various boulangeries)
- Why is eating so difficult in France? Why, why, why is it so hard to eat here? Emiliano purchased a build-it-yourself baguette kit. I purchased a bag of day-old pain au chocolates.
- Cafe Creme.
Dinner (Restaurant Les Lauzes)
- I ate a pizza with an egg on top. And a salad with an egg, tuna, corn and jambon on top.
- Emiliano ate Steak Frites.
- We both had several coffees and glace. Emi had two balls and no whip cream. I had two balls with whip cream, or as the French say, “chantilly.”
- And a bottle of San Pellegrino.
I’m not going to tell you what we did. But after paying 17 euros for a “Pity Breakfast,” we did something bad to a parking lot. We don’t think it’s a felony. Either way, felony, misdemeanor, whatever, it’s not important, what’s important is that we’re deeply and sincerely sorry for our behavior that may or may not have been captured on Closed Circuit TV.
Dear World Race Report
I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of these things. I mean, in some ways, it’s proof that the Tour de France is the Greatest Sporting Event in the History of the World. What other sport lasts this long? I mean people talk about cricket, five day matches or whatever. Five days, piece of cake. Tennis? Not even close. The Dakar Rally? Nope it’s only thirteen days and they use engine-cars. Think about it, what other sport has month-long competitions? There isn’t one because no other sport is as stupid as cycling. Cycling is the stupidest sport in the world. Everything else as stupid as cycling has been cancelled or modified or mitigated or subjugated or neutered on some level. Not cycling, not the Tour de France! It’s as barbaric today as it was one thousand years ago. Or whenever it started.
Speaking of which, can we talk about the Alps? I don’t know how these mountains work but they have an individual quality to them. Most mountains are like peaks built onto the back of one big solid hump of rock that stretches for hundreds of miles in every direction. Not the Alps, nope. They’re like individual buildings. Like the skyscrapers in New York. They have the verticality of buildings too, which is what must give them that scale thing they’re so famous for. If you look over the edge and straight down you’re basically looking at sea level.
Speaking of edges I was pushed several times today. Even spectating is a competition, a battle. People take it maybe too seriously. It’s been a LONG TIME since a complete stranger casually pushed me in the back with both hands and thought it would okay. It wasn’t okay. I almost fell over. I almost dropped my camera. I wasn’t stopping to block his shot. And dude, dont fucking touch me even if I was, let it go. I did, I moved on to the other side of the climb where a dude with iPad also assaulted me and touched me non-consensually. It’s too much. The Tour de France is too much. I can’t win.
All this talk of winning reminds me, today we watched Nibali win. From a McDonald’s back on the ground in the direction of our Alpe. I’ve forgotten how much I love watching the finish of a race because it’s been so long since I have. In every way today was the first day we actually saw the race. On a TV in a McDonald’s. It was amazing, this race looks amazing. Plus, cycling, are you fucking kidding me? Do you see the way these guys go down murderous roads and go up skyscrapers without an elevator and just a stupid bike?
Digital print on white American Apparel 2001 t-shirts (images are of mock-ups, final design size/position may differ slightly). Limited edition. This listing is a pre-order, delivery is expected in mid-August.
II Today's Highs & Lows
- 25 bucks by Danny Brown feat. Purity Ring while surfing the race down an Alpe.
- Running into Mr. and Mrs. Raoul on Col de la Croix de Fer!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Having a nose-to-nose altercation with a spectator, looking up midway through shouting into his face something along the lines of You Better Back the Fuck Off and realizing I was being videoed, all celebrity-misbehaving-style. The altercation wasn't a high point, the altercation sucked. But being videoed while behaving at my worst was oddly a high point. I’m not sure I could explain why.
- This morning’s austerity breakfast. Our breakfast tasted like, and felt like, and vibed like, how sometimes a nice family on a farm will feed a wandering homeless person or two down on their luck. The farming family says “I’m not sure I should, but just go around back and I will give you some bread and a cup of coffee but then you will need to be on your way.”
- Using a laundry bag for a pillow.
- Spectators refusing to let us move their bikes three feet in order to pull off the course and park
- Getting pushed with two hands in the back by a guy while walking up the course.
- Getting shoulder-checked by a guy with an iPad while walking down the course.
III Bottle Boy's Highs & Lows
- We walked to today's stage on the Mollard from our apartment, a converted 1849 barn.
- We found a Flemish shanty town with awesome beer, people, and bass-tacular techno.
- Seriously this was like a random Andrew WK-level party on the climb.
- Watching the publicity caravan take hand-ups. It seems they have an established exchange arrangement: Cochonou sausages for beer. Multiple Lotto-Soudal cars also stopped for a beer.
- I've already collected 5 of the 6 free hats the caravan distributes daily.
- A drunk Flemish guy tried on the Bottle boy costume and ran around yelling about how the suit smells like “American Sweat.”
- The Lotto-Soudal team dances to techno on climbs more than any other team.
- Three Brits we met were dressed as foxhunters.
- Walking to the stage from our apartment was rough. Not as bad as riding, but walking 6 km uphill with the bottle bag wasn't great.
- I tried to ride the Col de la Croix de Fer this morning but the gendarmes were kicking people off bikes at 10 AM. No good. I walked a mile through town in S-Works shoes and Speedplay cleats before I gave up.
- Another day went by and I failed again to get one of the coveted Bic cycling caps.
- Typing these High Points & Low Points on my phone because of weefee problems.
- I’m living on Madeleines and Cochonou sausages.
Learning French Phrases #10 A Special Audio Edition with @bigtakeover
- Do you like to twerk?
- We are credentialed media. We would like to pass.
- I want to stand here for only 5 minutes. I will leave immediately after.
- Don't smile!
- Can I park here?
- What is the wifi password?
- I'm sorry police officer, I do not understand.
- I like your hat!
- Where can I find sunblock?
- This food is inedible.
- Sparkling water, please.
V Today's Playlist
- 1 Tanlines Abby
- 2 Blood Orange Uncle Ace
- 3 WhoMadeWho Greyhound
- 4 Brian Eno x Nicolas Jaar x Grizzly Bear Sleeping Ute
- 5 Danny Brown feat. A$AP Rocky & Zeloop Kush Coma
- 6 Majical Cloudz Illusion
- 7 Matthew Dear Overtime
- 8 Future feat. TI Magic
- 9 Danny Brown feat. Purity Ring 25 Bucks
- 10 Miguel feat. Wiz Khalifa Adorn (Remix)
- 11 Major Lazer feat. Pharrell Williams Aerosol Can
- 12 Tomas Barford Aether
- 13 Gonjasufi The Blame
- 14 Möwe Blauer Tag
- 15 Saint Michel I Love Japan
- 16 Niki & The Dove The Fox
VI Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne Start
VII Col du Chaussy
VIII Col de la Croix de Fer