Well. We're almost to the end. Several gruelling days in the Alps, a time trial, and then onward to Paris.
I have to say that it's been a long time since I've seen quite so many broken collar-bones on a Tour.
And, sadly, that the race for the green jersey seems to have come to an end, unless of course Oscar Freire can pull off something spectacular. Though my prediction of a McEwen 2002/2004/2006 win would seem to be coming true.
I think the saddest moment of the Tour so far happened for me today -- watching Tom Boonen at the side of the road, at the end of his road, so to speak. He was in tears, and I was this close to tears myself watching him. But if cycling teaches me anything, it's that you can have a great spring, and look forward to a good Tour, and then have things just not go right at all. And then, you keep moving forward -- he'll be back, tour of the Netherlands and another one I've forgotten, and maybe by then he'll be back in form.
But it just goes to show what a challenge the Tour de France is.
As for the Tour de Fleece -- well, it's much the same for us, too, I think, at least for me. I take on other, smaller, spinning projects throughout the year, and often I don't think too much about what I'm trying to accomplish. I've discovered both this year and last year that taking three weeks out of my schedule (a feat in itself, I think many of you will agree), devoting myself to one project, to one challenge, has proved to be more beneficial than I'd ever realized. I won't write too much about that today -- will save it for the end of the Tour -- but it's what I'm starting to think about as we move into the final days.
But a reminder -- taking on a challenge of this nature is already a success unto itself. Remember that if you're feeling discouraged. Give yourself a pat on the back, climb back on, and keep going.