Clean air for a great start

There is a term from sailing that is very apt for yesterday. That term is “Clean Air.” Clean air is unimpeded wind that allows a boat to achieve maximum performance. One way to disrupt a boat’s air flow is another boat further upwind literally taking the wind out of the sails. Sailing strategy revolves around gaining clean air and depriving your opponent of the same.

That’s the way I felt yesterday. With the USADA withholding its decision, it allowed the full focus of the world on the prologue of the Tour de France. It did not disappoint.

I was told by members of the CSC staff to expect London to put on a show that may upstage the final stage in Paris. They were right. London was at its best. The weather was perfect and people turned out in droves. Finally, the competition was scintillating.

With Kloden posting what seemed to be an unbeatable time, World Champion Fabian Cancellara came out of the start house like a man possessed. Looking like he and/or his bike might not make it past the first 100 meters, Fabian charged out on course and never let up. As he approached the final kilometer, I was literally on the edge of my seat.

After the race, I thought that cycling received exactly what was needed. I then watched the horizon for the USADA boat depriving cycling of clean air to sail into this morning’s newspapers. The boat never arrived.

I know the announcement will come and come soon. Thankfully it did not come yesterday.


3 Responses to Clean air for a great start

  1. Ed says:

    The only thing that could have upstaged the Prologue was the first stage….and it did. Robie McEwen’s heroic and stealthy recovery in the final 10K was Armstrong-like. How do you, even with the help of team-mates, go from flipping over your own handlebars from a rear-end collision and injuring your wrist (a critical pulling tool for a sprinter) with only 10K or so left, all the way to the front of a racing peloton without being spotted with 50 meters left in the stage, and then to have the explosion in the legs to beat O’Grady and Boonen, who’ve both been “resting” up to that point?


  2. pelotonjim says:

    Must be something in that Aussie water. So far the Tour is two for two

  3. Mc says:

    I too enjoyed the first two stages and respite from the pending decision. Nice to remember why I like cycling and the beautiful scenery along the way!

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