The first thing to remember about the Tour de France is that it's French and not American or even English. In fact, the Tour de France typifies the country in the way that baseball is quintessentially American, and Wimbledon English. What saddens the purists or xenophobics is the way that foreigners now dominate the national sport.
2009 Tour de France Humour
- The Devil Rides with the Tour de France
- Tour de France Jerseys
- Who will be 'Le Patron' of the Tour de France in 2009?
- Expressions Heard on the Tour de France
Gallic HumourThe French have a greater ability to laugh out loud at crude or trivial jokes, while Anglophiles prefer subtler humour. In consequence it is easier to tell a racy joke at a French cafe than in an English coffee house. As well as bouffonnerie, the French also like cutting remarks designed to wound Rather than amuse. Thus, compared with English humour, Gallic wit is cruel rather than kind, and intellectual rather than nonsensical. French love their irreverent Astérix books, British prefer Monty Python sketches. I would also suggest that we British are better at laughing at ourselves than the French.
Language Barrier?The tour riders are truly multi-national, here are examples of a linguistic misunderstand that could occur between a Frenchman and Australian. Cyril Dessel to Cadel Evans: Chaussee deformer? (Are you a contortionist?) Cadel Evans to Cyril Dessel: Dacor Moi Aussie (Of course, I am an Australian.)
Contenders for the 2009 Yellow Jersey Alberto Contador (Fav, Won) Lance Armstrong Andy Schleck Cadel Evans Dennis Menchov Carlos Sastre (2008 Winner)The Yellow Jersey of the Tour de France is awarded to the rider with the quickest overall time and is, therefore, the race leader. It was created in 1919 as an homage to the yellow paper of l'Auto magazine, founder of the Tour de France in 1903. Eddy Merckx wore the Maillot Jaune for a record 111 days. This Eddy did because he was a good time time-trialist, proficient climber and great 'Le Patron' of the race. Green - Maillot Vert
Contenders for the 2009 Points Classification Mark Cavendish (Fav) Oscar Friere Thor Hushovd (Winner) Tom BoonenThe next most prestigious jersey is given to the leader in the points classification which rewards sprinters. During each stage, points are attributed during the intermediary sprints and at the finish. The jersey was introduced in 1953. Germany's Erik Zabel won it a record six consecutive times between 1996 and 2001. Mark Cavendish was a big contender until he was controversially disqualified on stage 14 and lost vital points. Polka Dot - Maillot à Pois Rouges
Contenders for the 2009 King of the Mountains David Moncoutie (Fav) Alberto Contador Frank Schleck Silvian Chavenel Cristophe Moreau Franco Pellizotti (Winner)Awarded to the rider who earns most of the points at each summit of a hill or pass. The winner is known as the 'King of the Mountains'. Although the award was introduced in 1933, this distinctive jersey was not introduced until 1975. White - Maillot Blanc The newest jersey, the white, was introduced in 1975. Given to the best young rider [under 25] in the general classification, it was abandoned in 1989 but reintroduced in 1999. In 2009 Andy Schleck was considered a 'shoo in', and duly won the White Jersey, and finished 2nd overall.
Expressions Not Heard on The Tour de France
- Sprinters discussing which of them will be wearing the 'King of the Mountains Jersey'.
- Grimpeurs crying out for room in a bunch finish on a flat stage.
An Alternative View: French Testing Methods Revealed
Thanks to Terry C WiseAnti French Sentiment [not supported by Will and Guy] CNN is reporting that Lance Armstrong may be stripped of his 7th Tour de France title. In a random check for banned substances, three were found in Armstrong's hotel room. The 3 substances banned by the French, that were found in Lance's hotel room were as follows: